What you need to know about your roof.

Think of your roof as a riverbed where all the ridges and valleys direct the water. Ventilation sticks out like rocks the water flows around. The size and slope of your roof determines the force. And like always, water flows down.

We often use shingles as a layer like a condensed sand that lasts for 20 years, even up to 35. Under the shingles is an underlayment of ice and water shield at the gutter edge and valleys and tar paper covering the rest. This underlayment helps to shed water that might make it through the shingles.

In the valleys, your shingles need to be wrapped and cut properly to last through Chicago’s weather. Ventilation that comes through the roof often wears out over the years. It can be as simple as dry rot around the plumbing boot or shingles wearing down from the water flow. It is important to have these areas properly installed and maintained in order to prevent further damage inside your home.

Rain also flows along the sides of your house, often against a wall or chimney. To channel this flow, metal needs to be tight to the corner of the wall and roof. It is important to cut, bend and install in ways to protect against water seeping in.

Putting roofs together is a great challenge. Ultimately, we like protecting people’s homes against the weather. It fulfills us. We’re excited to be able to keep on improving our skills and share that quality with you.

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building from the Deck up

The wooden structure that gives your roof its shape has many aspects.

Some times you open the roof with a skylight to make a room feel more natural.

Other days you need to close the hole for a little less nature.

Underlayment and protecting your deck

Even though you can’t see the underlayment, it is your hidden helper. Water can get in the cracks and still be flushed out, if properly installed. This gives you more life out of your roof.

This is especially important when flashing chimneys, valleys and even small strips around vents. Ice and Watershield is an extraordinary material because its easy to shape, water-resistant and adheres tightly. This is a great tool to overkill in heavy flow areas or to wrap up corners.


Shingle Work

Starting off your courses right is a huge advantage. Know where the water is going to have the most force and reenforce it.

Lining up your shingles properly in the beginning helps keep straight lines and avoid a wavy look.

Valley and Shingle overlaps

Valleys are one of the most common leaks. Often from excessive nailing, not enough coverage or sloppy cuts. Taking extra time for precision can save you thousands in the long run.

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It is important to make sure your roof has the right amount of ventilation.

Too little and the inside of your roof can rot in your attic.

Too much and you over spend on heating and cooling.

Ridge and ‘mushroom’ vents are the most common, but many upgrade for electrical attic fans.


Flashing Protrusions

Other ventilations comes from bathroom fans, HVAC pipes and general exhausts. Because water gets pushed around these protrusions, they are a common spot to leak. Often a simple fix, but proper flashing can be a big saver for the future.

Counter Flashing with Metal

Protecting where your roof meets walls takes a bit of metal. Purpose made aluminum ‘tins’ need to be tight in the corner.

Big leaks around chimneys and walls often come down to these little pieces.

After installing the tins, cut a steel or copper cap to match your brick. Its really helpful to have a small level and sharp snips to get a clean finish.


Brick Counter flashing

Though brick counter flashing is a helps shed water from your brick to your roof, its a beautiful addition when done right.

For the cleanest angles, use a small level to match the horizontal of your brick to the slope of your roof.

These little details give you the sharp finish that highlights craftsmanship.

Caulk and clean up

Once you’ve laid your material in its places, take a tube of caulk and go over any weak spots. This final seal is a saver to smoothly block out any water. Caulking nail heads under replaced shingles gives you security knowing nothing is exposed.

Pair the caulk with the color of metal for a clean and professional finish. When caulking flashing, try to give it a bede from metal to brick, then brick to metal for the best water protection.


That’s how it works

It’s not that complicated in theory. Temporary solutions are fine, but annoyingly short lived. You want to be able to trust that you are protected. After all, when the storms come - you’ll really rely on your roof.

We will walk you through the process to make sure you know what’s happening and feel in control of your own roof. So get peace of mind with a roofer you can trust.