Odd roofing questions and stories

Being in the roofing supply business for more than a decade I have heard my share of odd questions. Many I have probably forgotten but some will always stand out as unique.

When T-lock shingles were discontinued, the first questions were what I am going to do I only need a couple of shingles etc…. I always encouraged homeowners to contact their insurance companies to try to qualify for a new roof but numerous times I was asked. “Can’t I just cut them from another type of shingle?” Realistically, I guess the answer is yes, but it is going to be an arduous process. I would recommend roll roofing, which used to be called 90# but is now called slate surfaced roll roofing. If you need more than 1 or 2, my thought is that you are going to be sorry you tried this.

Along with that, “Can I just cut the shingles to make ridge?” Depends on the shingles, 3-tab shingles are cut for ridge all the time. Most other shingles do not work well as ridge; it is much quicker and easier to just purchase the correct ridge shingles. Along with this is always the question about starter shingles. There are several reasons for it and I always recommend that you use starter, in most areas the code requires it and for good reason. There is actually a strip of asphalt adhesive designed to help the shingles seal and to avoid wind uplift. Many roofing manufacturers offer an upgraded wind warranty if you use their starter and ridge when installing their shingles.

Next on the list are actually two questions I lump together. “Can I get a purple shingle?” and “Can I paint my roof to change the color?” I am not aware of purple shingles manufactured by any company and let me tell you she wanted, “Barney” the dinosaur, purple. I can probably get metal roofing in purple but I am sure it is not a standard color and you will pay more for it. There is no paint that I am aware of, although I have never sold paint, which will adhere to an asphalt shingle exposed to severe weather for any length of time. If there is one I would question it’s compatibility with the shingle composition. Regardless, I am sure painting will void the warranty of the shingle. There are roof coatings designed to adhere to asphalt based flat roofs but the design of shingles would make it difficult to get good coverage and adhesion. I did find an article on the subject, as stated previously I am not aware of nor have I ever seen this product used.

Related but different “My painter got paint on my shingles, what do I do?” See above answer, chances are the paint won’t adhere for any length of time and eventually will fade or flake off. There is no paint remover that I know of that will remove paint and not damage the shingle. Although here is where Murphy ’s Law comes into effect. If you want paint on your roof it will never stick and if you don’t want it, it will be there forever. One web page I found claims you can remove paint and gives instruction on how it is done. My advice is be very careful if trying this at home. I have not tried this and I make no recommendation.

Then there is the customer that was upset because we had stocked the roof with shingles and it was raining. They wanted us to come out and put a tarp over the shingles so they wouldn’t be damaged. Seriously??? What do you think the shingles are exposed to once installed? News Flash!Shingles are made to withstand weather, if they weren’t you wouldn’t want them on your roof.

I have seen people create designs in roofs using various types of shingles or different colored shingles. Actually this can be kind of cool or not depending on how well it is designed and executed.

I have seen shingles used as siding. Not a great look in my mind, but there is no accounting for taste, also most manufacturers will not warranty this type of installation.

I heard of a guy who because they said self-sealing shingles, figured he didn’t need nails. He called in a warranty claim because they blew off. I spoke with the manufacturer’s rep that went out on this claim. No, the claim was not paid. All shingle packages come with very specific nailing instructions, to not follow these basic instructions usually voids all warranties.

I know of another guy who started on one side of the roof and went up and over with the shingles, so on the back side they were all installed upside down. I only know this because he brought back the ridge shingles saying he didn’t need them. No these are not going to be under warranty either. They will also not pass any inspection. And there is the added risk that the inspector will injure himself laughing when he sees this

These are some of the reasons we recommend you leave roofing to the professionals. If you aren’t going to do that, at the very least Read the directions on the package before trying to do it yourself.

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