You know what they say about judging a book by its cover? Well, the same can be said for roofing. A roof might look fantastic from afar, but get up close or underneath the shingles and you might find things are not as buttoned down as they seem.
And to carry our book-judging theme a step further, we had quite an interesting tale to tell when all was said and done with this seemingly routine residential roofing project request.
There are many things that can compromise your roof over time – including tree limbs, falling debris, and mischievous animals – but wind and water (including rain, hail, and ice) are the most common causes of roof problems.
Wind damage might be easy to spot from a certain distance on some part of the roof, but not so much when it comes to a roof leak. Chances are better when you’re inside the house. A water leak showing itself inside (a little or a lot) might be a plumbing issue, but it’s also one of the signs of roof damage.
This was a concern for a customer in Cos Cob, who called us to see if we could come out and see about repairing a roof leak he discovered in his home. We weren’t the roofing contractor that did the original installation on his house, but there was a bit of good fortune in that the type of roofing material used was GAF Timberline HDZ, the exact asphalt shingles we use for many of our installations.
We’re big fans of these shingles for a few reasons.
First of all, they look great. These are what’s known as architectural shingles (also sometimes called dimensional or laminated shingles). What makes them pop is a shadow effect that produces a three-dimensional look of genuine wood shake. The GAF version comes in 16 colors, so there’s bound to be one to match your style.
These tiles are also thicker than your typical three-tab shingle. This extra bit of heft comes in handy against the elements, particularly wind and fire. GAF offers a limited lifetime roof warranty, and the warranty’s wind coverage has no maximum wind-speed limitation. The shingles also carry a UL Class A rating, the highest fire rating for roofing.
On top of all that, these high-quality shingles are practically priced when considering roofing costs. A good value.
But we digress. On to the “Case of the Leaky Roof.”
The customer asked if we could inspect the spot on this asphalt shingle roof that corresponded with signs of a leak and possibly make some minor repair to see if that would be enough. This would be tricky, because it’s often difficult to repair a leaky spot without removing and replacing a section of shingles, which was what the customer was hoping to avoid.
We told him we would attempt the repair but that if it did not hold, we would then likely have to redo a whole section of the roof. Unfortunately, the next storm brought bad news: The repair did not hold, and more inclement weather was on the way the next day.
We understood the urgency of the situation and quickly got a crew together to head over to Cos Cob to begin mitigating the potential damage to come. And here’s where the story turns for the better.
Because of construction supply-chain issues at this time, we were concerned that we might not be able to find a correct color match (GAF Oyster Gray roof shingle) on such a critical timeline. Our team worked extremely hard and quickly to search locations … and amazingly found some and picked them up from a local supplier the same day. That never happens!
Once on the property, our crew began removing shingles in the area of the leak and found a bigger problem – multiple leaks that were feeding water into the home. It was good that we redid the entire section. Here’s why.
Every roof is divided into different “facets.” These are sections of the roof that end either at a “ridge” (a peak) or a “valley” and a “rake” or “eave.” In simple terms, the rake is the vertical (upper) edges of a gabled roof, the eave the horizontal (lower) edge.
Because of this relationship as a roofing system, it is not in your best interest to replace anything less than one facet when there’s a problem. We ended up replacing two facets because not only had the area been compromised by water due to poor installation, areas of the deck had become rotted as well.
Luckily we came prepared and ready to go. We replaced the rotted portions, properly sealed the section, and then installed the shingles – which matched exactly! And we mean exactly.
The real kicker was that we were able to do the entire project in 24 hours. We signed, scheduled, installed, cleaned up, and departed in one day. Truth be told, it’s not often possible to do a one-day job like this, but the scheduling and material spirits were on our side for this one. One of our fastest jobs ever.
Epilogue: Because of the pandemic, both homeowners were working from home full-time and also caring for their newborn baby. Doing a roofing job is, well, let’s say not a quiet activity. So we made sure to stay in constant communication with the family as to avoid disturbing conference calls or waking the baby throughout the day.
We’re happy to report no babies were awakened and no one was fired! And remember: Little things like leaks can become bigger problems if not addressed right away when you notice them.
City: Cos Cob
Materials used (manufacturer): GAF
Materials used (type): Timberline HDZ Asphalt
Materials used (color): Oyster Gray
Project Cost: $3,500
Time to Complete: One day