Living by the ocean will always be high on the list of desirable locations for prospective homeowners.
And while that close contact with beauty, serenity, and recreation can be priceless, the reality is that it can come at a cost. The associated heavy winds, storms, and saltwater will increase the wear and tear on your home, particularly the roof.
That was the case for a roofing project we took in Old Saybrook, CT. For efficiency, we typically try to keep our projects within a 60-mile drive of our base in Greenwich. But as professional roofing contractors, of course, we want to take on any job we can. So, yes!
(Have to say as an aside: Our project manager, Nick, and work crew did a fantastic job despite the logistical commuting challenges. Nick was in contact with the owner and crew every day and also tried to be on-site two to three times a week, choosing lighter traffic times for travel while also balancing other jobs. And the crew deserves praise for having to get up extra early each day to make the trip, work a full day, then journey their way back home in the evening.)
So, to the job itself. The home on Long Island Sound was ready for a new roof, and the owner also wanted a special feature installed as well: a copper cap for the fireplace chimney. He had a clear idea of what kind of chimney cap he wanted, and he found an image online that basically matched his vision. He wondered if it would be possible for us to custom-fabricate something similar as part of the new roof installation.
Rest assured, we told him. We’re fortunate that our crew is about more than just being great at removing and replacing shingles. They’re also about craftsmanship and ingenuity, so they were able to essentially create an exact match of the chimney cap the owner had in mind. We also went a step further, recommending and then installing copper caps to the peaks of the nearby shed roofs on the property as well, to kind of tie them together visually. It’s a great look.
So having touched on the special aspects of this project, we should talk about the roof itself. There are many types of roofs, but as mentioned, we needed a solution that would stand up to the salt and weather specific to these waterfront conditions.
As such, we recommended installing a synthetic roofing tile manufactured by Brava, specifically their Aged Cedar Shake line with a Class C fire rating. This environmentally friendly composite roofing (made from 100 percent recycled materials) is a fantastic alternative to genuine cedar shingles.
They hold up better against the elements and can handle winds over 110 mph. Unlike real cedar, the Brava synthetic cedar tiles make for a maintenance-free roof. Plus, these carry a Class 4 impact rating (tops in the industry) for toughness against all types of weather.
Even better, these synthetic cedar shingles have a 50-year limited warranty, much longer than you could expect with traditional cedar tiles.
Before we laid down the shingles, we first covered the roof with underlayment. For this job, we used GAF Tiger Paw, a premium UV-stabilized polypropylene covering that provides a critical extra layer of protection between your shingles and your roof deck.
Unlike conventional felts, this type of underlayment will not rot or become brittle. It also will provide a tear strength about seven times greater than felt and resists the wrinkling and buckling that can produce those “telegraphing” bumps that prevent a uniform-looking, smooth finish.
With the underlayment in place, we then secured the roofing using high-grade 316 stainless steel nails, which are more corrosion-resistant than typical stainless steel nails. The reason we use 316 stainless steel nails is that saltwater (especially) will eat away at the nails, which in turn will eventually result in the shingles being blown off the roof. This is an added cost, but worth every penny.
When that was done, we had one more thing to do: add snow guards. This feature usually is agreed upon before a project starts. We had presented several snow guard options to the customer when we were putting together the plan, and he agreed that from an aesthetics standpoint, they were appealing…but didn’t really think they were needed in this case.
However, he changed his mind once the project was underway, and though it made for a little extra work, we were glad to go the extra mile to make it happen.
The homeowner was impressed with the whole project and has referred us. It was a large job, with a long process from start to finish, but in the end, he was happy and so were we.