ice dam

Ice Dams Prevention & Ventilation of Low-Slope Roofs




Ice Dams can cause very serious and expensive to fix problems, and are usually caused by improper ventilation of your attic space and inadequate insulation of your roof. Ice Dams are a sign of heat loss in the attic, and this lost heat is money you throw out the window.

Ice dams may seem harmless at first, but they are known to cause thousands of dollars in roof leaks, structural  damages and repairs of your home. The can also create dangerous mold growth, which can cause or aggravate allergies, asthma and other respiratory diseases.  Fighting ice dams can be costly, and you also need to know how to approach the problem to make your efforts more efficient so that you can permanently eliminate them.

This Ice Dams Prevention Guide will help you identify Ice Dams and eliminate either sources of the problem (preferred method, though not always feasible) or the effects, which are just as dangerous for you home.

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Metal Roofing in Attleboro, MA

In April, we installed a new lifetime Steel Metal Shingles roof on a house in Attleboro, Massachusetts. The house is located on a beautiful quiet street not far from Attleboro Center, as well as Mass / RI border. The new metal roof replaced and old, failing asphalt shingles roof, with some shingles blown off by the wind.

The metal roof we installed was a Tamko Steel Shingles with real slate look, in a beautiful Sequoia Red color. Steel metal shingles are an interlocking metal roof system, where each shingle is locked on all four sides and is held in place by clips and roofing nails, and the other six shingles around it.

Steel shingles metal roofs offer great flexibility in terms of installation, excellent water-tightness, and prevent Ice Dams formation, as metal roofs shed Ice and Snow. On top of being an excellent solution to leaks and Ice Dams, metal roofs last 50 years or more!

Metal Roof installation

The old roof was two layers of asphalt shingles, which according to building code, must be removed before the new roof is installed. Removing the old roof is also beneficial in terms of removing extra weight off the house. Although metal roofs are VERY light, weighing 40 lbs per 100 sq. ft. in aluminum, and about 65 lbs. in steel shingles, they will not add nearly as much weight as 1 layer of asphalt shingles (about 275 lbs per 100 sq. ft.), and can be safely installed as a second layer, it is still a good idea to do a full tear off, to allow the repair of any rotten wood, and to improve roof ventilation.
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NERCA Roofing Convention in Boston, MA

Last week, Boston was a host to hordes of roofing sales people, roof manufacturers’ reps and local roofing contractors from all over Massachusetts and New England. It was the NERCA (North East Roofing Contractors Association) annual convention, where most roofing materials, tools and equipment manufacturers were present, promoting their new products and services.

Boston MA a roofing convention

After being to a few of these shows already, I have found that they don’t get any more exciting, but it’s always nice that NERCA sets up up open bars with semi-decent wine, and cheese / crackers / fresh veggies & berries tables. I think that for roof sales professionals, these roofing conventions have become a boring necessity, as all they do is schmooze with each other and talk about competition. As for me and other roofing contractors, we can always find some new and exciting roofing materials, tools, equipment and services, such as infra-red roof scanners, roof lifts, a hydraulic-powered dumpster, which can be lifted to the roof level to speed up roof tear-off and clean up process.
As a Flat Roof contractor we were there supporting IB Roofs, which had a booth there, and I got to meet IB’s new Regional Manager, Dana Spurgeon, as well as IB’s local reps in Massachusetts – Jerry Lang and Kevin Laprte (whom I already know of course).

Roofing Equipment Presented at the Show

Besides the obvious and now ritualistic visit to the IB Roofs stand, I wanted to find as many cool, interesting and innovative roofing products at this show, and quickly wondered off, to explore the unknown. My first find was an excellent new automatic hot-air welder by Leister – the new Varimat V2.
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Massachusetts Roofing – Recent Flat and Metal Roofs Installed in MA

Update – Dec. 12, 2010 – recently we’ve uploaded a gallery of many metal and flat roofs that we’ve installed in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island – see the roofing jobs gallery. All roofs mentioned below are listed on the roof gallery page, with references to job profiles, and before / after pictures.

Before we go into job reviews, here are a few additional articles you may find useful, when choosing a roof product for your home and a contractor to install it:

How to prevent Ice Dams – a comprehensive guide focused on the rout cause of Ice dams, which is usually a combination of poor ventilation and inadequate insulation in the attic space or between roof rafters. This guide will help homeowners minimize heat leaks in the attic, improve ventilation and eliminate the effects of ice dam leaks by installing a Metal Roof or an IB low-slope roofing membrane.

Low-slope roofs – Overview of the common problems associated with low slope residential roofs, such as shed dormers or roofs on most cape-style homes located in the northern MA. Common issues with such roofs include rotten roof decking / rafters and Ice-dams. Since these roofs are prone to Ice dam leaks, most of the rot damage is an effect of ice dams. Although many roofing contractors will insist that using Ice and Water shield will do the trick, our experience shows that most of the time I&W fails to protect the roof even if the entire roof deck is covered in Ice and Water. Therefore, we believe that the best solution for permanent protection of low-slope roofs and eliminating ice dams is to install a metal roof or an IB flat roofing membrane in conjunction with solving ventilation/insulation issues described in the article above.

Roofs we installed in Massachusetts:

Low slope shed dormer roof in Westminster, MA

Leaking low-slope roof on a shed dormer in Westminster, MA

We installed this roof in early May of 2009. The house is located in a heavily wooded area of central Mass, just north of Mount Wachusett. Westminster, MA is located along Rt. 2, and not very far from the New Hampshire border. These areas get major snowfall in the winter, together with colder temperatures than those in Boston. Consequently, ice dams become a major problem in Westminster, even for high slope roofs. Low slope roofs, such as the one we replaced there, are very likely to have ice dam leaks and other problems such as a rotten roof deck, wet insulation, and mold.

The roof has been leaking for some time around the chimney in the center of the roof and was patched many times with tar, but rather unsuccessfully. Also, due to Ice Dams and roof leaks caused by the ice formation along the roof eaves, the homeowner installed heating cables to stop the Ice dam leaks. These did not help either, and after one more unsuccessful roof repair, the homeowner decided to get an IB roof installed.

Flat roofing Westminster, MA

The homeowner and his cousin, who is a roofer in NH, did the roof tear-off and replaced all rotten plywood decking, to reduce the cost of installation, while we installed the roof itself, insulation, chimney flashing, ridge vent and snow guards (snow retention system).

Note – before we installed the IB membrane, the homeowner’s main concern was to get ice and snow off the roof. After the IB system was installed, our concern was that due to the roof’s pitch, which was about 3 in 12″, the snow and Ice would just slide off the roof in a large pile, crushing down onto the deck and perch bellow it. Also, there was a grill on the deck, which was not removable, since it was tied to a gas line.

IB flat roof westminster massachusetts

The chimney flashing, which may seem like a quick job, actually took about 6-7 hours to properly flash. The reason it turned out to be so time consuming, is that it is located in the center and separates the ridge vent, as well as creeping onto another side of the roof. Due to its position, size and the way an IB roof is installed, it not only took long to work around, but also slowed down the rest of installation. Because the ridge vent butts into the chimney, we had to make sure that not only the ridge vent was raised an inch off the roof level to prevent the wind-driven rain from leaking into the house, but also that it was completely tied to the roof, and flashed up the chimney. Once the chimney flashing was installed, counter flashing reglet had to be installed as well.

Chimney flashing on a flat roof in Wetminster, MA

All in all it took us 3 days to install this roof, though the 3rd day was rather short. What really slowed us down, was the first heat wave of that spring and an overwhelming amount of bugs / flies / mosquitoes in this wooded / swampy area of central Mass.

Roofing membrane used: 50 mil mechanically attached IB PVC flat roofing system.

Insulation used: 1/2″ fan-fold Styrofoam insulation with clear plastic / metal facing.

Total roof square footage: Approximately 500 sq. ft.

Standing seam metal roof in Wayland, MA

Right after the roof in Westminster was installed, we started getting ready for a big metal roofing project, in Wayland, MA. On this job, we installed a .032 Aluminum standing seam metal roof in 1 3/4″ snap lock profile with 16″ wide pan and stiffening ribs. This roof took about two weeks to install, including tear-off of old asphalt shingles, siding removal, replacement of rotten wood replacement, delays with material shipments and the wrong type of flashing being delivered.

Standing Seam metal roof in Wayland, MA

Actually one of the delays happened because our supplier ran out of Grey aluminum coil after 80 % of roofing panels were rolled out of their mobile standing seam roll-forming machine, which was based in Manchester, NH. As the supplier received more aluminum coil 3 days later, he sent a different truck, from New London, CT. As that truck arrived and rolled off the first test panel, just out of curiosity I decided to compare the first batch to the second one. It turned out that the machine on the New London truck was set up to be 1/8″ wider than the Manchester truck. This, over the course of 23 panels gave us an extra 3″ of panel, which converted to two extra panels – 1 1/2″ wide – on either side of the rear roof section and exactly 23 panels on the front. We had to send the truck back and wait for the Manchester, NH truck to deliver and roll out the same coil. Even the guys working for the supplier were not aware of this mismatch between the two machines.

F-Rail rib-mounted snow retention system from Berger snow-guards.
F-Rail rib-mounted snow retention system from Berger snow-guards.

Finally, the Manchester truck delivered the right-width panels and we were able to finish the job without any more delays. The homeowner,Glenn, was also very concerned with snow and ice falling off the roof and damaging the gutters bellow, so we installed a commercial-grade double rail snow retention system to eliminate the possibility of snow falls from the roof.

We already posted a full review of this roof installation on our blog, a few months back, so if you want to know more details, read the standing seam metal roof in Wayland, MA job profile.

IB PVC Roof installation in Boston, MA

leaking rubber roof boston ma

In August of 2009, we completed a rather small, but very tricky and complicated flat roof installation in Boston, on one of the traditional Boston-style homes/buildings, which you can see all along Mass. ave, Comm. ave, as well as Blue Hill avenue, on which this house is located. It was originally an EPDM rubber roof, which had over 50 percent of seams separated due to adhesive failure. The two-tower wood design made this roof much more difficult to repair and our client, Jim, chose to eliminate the hassles of frequent roof repairs and decided to have an 80-mil IB roof installed.

Although this should have been a pretty much straight-forward roof replacement, with rubber tear-off performed first and a new IB roof installed, I sensed that it will not be an easy job. Until we opened up the roof I could not say for sure what obstacles we were going to face, but once we did remove the rubber, we found that the entire length of the masonry parapet wall was damaged by water and poor quality of brick mortar. We also found that we would have to rebuild the parapet walls as much as 4 layers of brick deep.

Rubber roofing Massachusetts

Because I chose a careful approach to the rubber removal, by only pulling back the rubber membrane off the parapet wall, and not cutting it, we were able to do the entire brick repair work and roof preparation, while having the roof watertight each night with the original rubber membrane.

Once all brick repair was complete and mortar had sufficient time to cure, we installed a 2×8 pressure treated perimeter wood nailer to which IB wall flashing and drip edge would be attached. Only on the last day did we remove the whole rubber roof, installed new insulation and laid down the new, mechanically attached IB PVC flat roofing membrane.

rubber-roofing-boston-ma

We had to come back one more time to install the new gutter and downspouts, IB two-way membrane vents and 9″ IB attic vents over specially cut holes in the roof deck. These attic vents were installed to vent out the moisture that accumulated in the small attic space when the old rubber roof was leaking. Once in place,these over-sized vents will eventually dry out the attic and prevent any future mold growth.

Now Jim can enjoy his watertight roof and get sun baths sitting in his beach chair on the roof of his home, and not worry about damage to the membrane – he chose a very durable, commercial grade 80-mil IB roof. He will also enjoy a cooler home, due to the IB’s cool roofing features.

rubber roofing boston ma

You can read the complete job profile about this Flat roof in Boston, MA on our Cool Roofing Blog.

Flat roof in Framingham, MA

One of the more recent flat roofing jobs was in Framingham, MA, where we installed an IB roof on yet another shed dormer roof for Ed Kelly – a high-end remodeling contractor out of Northborough, MA. The builder had his crew remove old asphalt shingles off this roof and replace most of the old decking with new 3/4" plywood. We were there to install just the membrane and flash it 2 feet up the sloped roof.

Flat roofing Framingham, MA

During my conversation with Ed (the builder), he told me me why he chose the more expensive IB roof over a cheaper rubber EPDM membrane. His main reason was the IB’s hot-air welded seams, and hassle free roof performance. Before, Ed used rubber roofs on a few of his projects, and all but one of them leaked due to problems with seams, and required expensive rubber roof repair. Ed decided to end his flat roofing nightmares and constant leaks, and chose an IB roof.

IB flat roofing.

The entire job took us one day to complete. The roof was prepared when we arrived to the job site in the morning, and before dark, we packed our tools and were ready to leave, as the installation was all done. The roofing crew which did the tear off and deck replacement was putting the new asphalt shingles and aluminum fascia trim back on, as we were driving away.

Roofing material:50 mil white IB roof, mechanically attached.

Insulation: 1/2″ fan-fold Styrofoam.

Total roof size: Approximately 450 sq. ft.

Flat roof deck in Wellesley, MA

Just before the Framingham flat roof job described above, we did another job for Ed – an 80 mil IB roof that would be a water-proofing membraneroof deck over a garage being built as an addition to an already huge home in a very secluded area of Wellesley.
roof deck wellesley ma

Once again, a complete job profile for this roof deck is already on our blog, so there is no point to rewrite it here – read the Wellesley, MA  flat roof deck installation overview.

Solar flat roof in Medford, MA

This job, was actually sponsored by Cool Flat Roof (us) and IB Roof Systems, as it was a non-profit project, competing in the 2009 Solar Decathlon competition, sponsored by the US DOE. We installed an IB roof on a Boston solar home with some help from the project volunteers and Architecture students from BAC and Tufts.

Solar flat roof of  Boston solar home in Medford, MA

Once again, we have a complete coverage of the installation of the IB flat roof and the Solar PV panels on this roof – Solar roof installation in Boston, MA.

Low slope shed dormer roof in Hingham, MA

Yet another shed dormer roof and also with major ice dams problems and leaks. This roof was just a year old when we removed the old asphalt shingles, and installed a new 50 mil IB traditions roof with an asphalt shingles pattern printed onto an IB white roofing membrane. This roof was completely covered with Ice & water shield, which failed miserably and forced the homeowner to climb up the slippery ladder all winter long, sometimes two times a day, to brake off the ice along the roof edge.

Shed dormer roof in Hingham, MA - a quiet town on Massachusetts South Shore.

The homeowner, Paul, tried everything from sodium-filled socks above the skylights to heating cables – nothing seemed to help, as with a lack of proper ventilation and inherent limitations of asphalt shingles, his roof was still leaking, as it faced north, and the sun never shined over it in the winter.

Paul wanted a permanent solution to stop leaks and not a single contractor that Paul contacted could explain to him how they would stop the leaks or promise that their roof will work. Some even offered to install asphalt shingles with Ice & Water shield – Really? Paul already had shingles with Ice and Water and it was not working.

IB flat roofing membrane being installed on a low-slope roof in Hingham, MA

Initially, Paul contacted us about getting a metal roof installed on his house, but after examining the roof, I suggested he install an IB roof instead, and residential flat roofing solution form IB  – Traditions Classic seemed to be the best option as it combined all the benefits of an IB roof with the classic look of architectural asphalt shingles printed onto the membrane. After a little decision making, Paul and his wife chose to go with a seamless one piece IB roof. In this case, there would be zero possibility of ice dam leaks.

All skylights now have seamless 1-piece flashing welded to the roof, and the ridge vent is raised by an inch above the roof level to prevent wind driven water from penetrating the roof.

All skylights now have seamless 1-piece plashing whelded to the roof, and the rodge vent is raise by an inch above the roof level to prevent wind driven water from penetrating the roof.

Now that Paul has a new IB Traditions Membrane, which is in effect a seamless, one piece blanket over the entire roof, he and his wife won’t have to worry about leaks and breaking ice off the roof any more.

Getting an IB Membrane or a Metal Roof installed on your home in Massachusetts:

If your roof is leaking or you have Ice dams, and are tired of fighting with the ice, using heat cables, sodium-filled socks, raking your roof, and risking to fall off a ladder, you need to contact the low-slope roofing experts ( us :). Request a free roofing price quote and schedule a roof inspection / estimate. You can also use our online roofing calculator to estimate your roof replacement cost and compare prices of IB PVC membrane to Rubber roofing, Modified bitumen / Tar and gravel roofs.

Pros and Cons of Roofing in the Winter




Most homeowners, who did not have a chance to replace their leaking roofs during spring and summer want to get it done in the fall – before the cold weather arrives. August, September and October are the busiest months of the year for a roofing contractor (for us at least) we get many calls and online estimate requests from homeowners looking to install a new IB Flat Roof or a Metal Roof on their home. At least 75 percent of these inquiries mention that they would like to have a new roof installed before the winter.

While we do understand your desire to have a new roof before winter weather comes, I must point out a misconception among many homeowners who believe that a roof can only be installed during the warm months. While this is partially true, due to limitations of specific roof types (technologies), for us, installing our roof systems in the winter is the same as it is in the summer – just a little colder.




Winter Roofing - Snow Removal

In fact, WINTER, is the best time for homeowners to have a new roof installed, as you will get the best roof prices, as well as a choice of the best roofing contractors. Because work is limited during the winter season, contractors compete for work and lower their prices to get the job. However, be aware that some roofs can’t or should not be installed in the winter – read on to find out what you should know about winter roofing, and which roofing materials should not be installed in the cold weather.

Which roofs can be installed in the winter and which cannot be:

Let’s take a look at the roofing systems which can be installed in the winter without compromising quality, and the systems that need to be installed in the warmer weather.I will divide roofing systems into two categories – flat and sloped roofs. Also, lets establish that by “winter” I mean temperatures below 40 degrees F.

Installation of Metal Roof at IHOP restaurant in Brighton, MA

Flat Roofs

When it comes to flat roofing, there are only two systems that can be safely installed in the winter – PVC and TPO. These are thermoplastic single ply flat roofing products, which are installed using Hot Air Welded seams, instead of various types of adhesives.

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Flat and Low Slope Roofing on Shed Dormers

Discover a permanent solution to leaks on shed dormers and other flat roofs

IB Flat Roofing on a shed dormer roof in Andover, CT

Many homes in New England have shed dormers, which are build to use otherwise unusable space in the attic, and greatly expand square footage of the home, without huge expenses of building an addition. However, the way these shed dormers are built, requires them to have a very low sloped roof, at times almost flat. These roofs are the first to leak, as conventional roofing materials cannot stand up to the Ice Dams build up and wind driven rain water, penetrating the roof between the seams in shingles and rolled roofing products.

This low slope roof had been patched many times around the chimney and along the eaves, and even with the Ice-melting cables, the Ice dams and leaks could not be stopped.

The problem with shed dormer roofs is that often asphalt shingles or rolled roofing materials are used, and the seams on such roofs are held together with adhesives – usually tar that melts under the sun’s heat and seals the seam. When asphalt shingle is used in such roof assembly, the joints between the shingles and the overlaps between them are an easy way for water to penetrate the roof. In the winter, moisture between shingles freezes, expands and breaks the seal. At this point, the roof leaks constantly, and no matter how many patch jobs you do, it will still leak. Also, a low slope on the roof greatly shortens the life of the shingles. Not to mention that when shingles are installed on a pitch of less than 3 in 12″, the warranty is immediately void on them.

While many roofing contractors will try to convince you that with the use of Ice & Water shield such as Grace (considered by many to be one of the best I/W shield products),  will make your roof water-tight and leaks free, real life experience shows that even on a steeper slope, such as 3 or even 4 in 12, the roof still leaks, and Ice dams leaks find their way inside your house.

This lake front home in Andover, Connecticut has a rolled asphalt roof that has been patched multiple times and still leaks.

A metal roof could be used to solve the constant roof leaks and ice dams on such low slope roofs, but in this particular case (the picture above), the pitch of the roof is too low for even a standing seam metal roof to work, and the best solution in this case would be an IB Flat and Low-slope roofing membrane. Besides, standing seam would cost double of what an IB flat roof cost would be.

Another solution commonly used by residential roofing contractors is the rolled asphalt roofing, or simply rolled roofing. Please keep in mind that most flat roofing systems come in rolls, but each type has it’s own trade name, such as Tar & Gravel, Rubber roofing, etc., and rolled roofing usually refers to a fiberglass membrane saturated in asphalt and asphalt, and coated with stone granules – very similar to asphalt shingles. Learn more about different types of flat roofing materials. Rolled asphalt was a popular choice for DIY roofing projects and many residential roofing contractors would use it, as it was fairly easy to install and easy to buy from a local roofing warehouse, without any special training involved. Unfortunately, these roofs only last about five years, and often begin leaking even sooner, causing expensive to repair structural damages, such as those shown in the picture below. Because the seams of rolled asphalt roofing are sealed with roof cement and fastened with roofing nails right through the membrane, the condensation below and the ice above the rolled asphalt quickly break the seal and the roof begins to leak. Patching such a roof will temporarily stop the leak, but it will actually create more damages, as in the meantime you allow water more time to destroy the roof decking and rafters.

Rotten wood damage to decking and rafters on a flat roof in Andover, CT

We recommend that homeowners with a flat or low-slope roofs avoid the cheap alternatives which may last you 5 years, and will cost much more the next time you have to replace them, as additional repairs of rotten wood replacement and tear-off / disposal fees add on to the total price tag. Instead, choosing a lifetime IB roof system will make your roof last for decades of leaks free performance and will reduce your cooling costs, as its Cool Roof surface will reflect almost 90% of the solar heat. You will also be eligible to receive up-to $1500 tax credit for installing an Energy Star rated Cool Roof, making your final price almost the same as that of a cheap leaky alternative.

Benefits of installing an IB Roof are many, but here are some of them:

  • IB Roofing membrane is a fully watertight system, utilizing hot-air fusion welded seams, which insure a permanent bond between the sheets, flashing and even the drip edge.
  • There is no glues or adhesives involved in the installation, as is the case with EPDM rubber roofs. Rubber roofs use splice tape or black glue to keep the seams together, and after just a short period of time the adhesives break down, and the roof begins to leak.
  • IB Roof is a complete roofing system with all the components made out of PVC / CPA material, which are welded right to the membrane, ensuring permanent watertightness. There is a flashing for every possible roof penetration, such as in-roof drains, inside and outside corners, air vents, pipe boots, etc.


IB roof flashing accessories

  • IB Roofing membrane does not cure over time, and remains weldable even 25 years after installation. What does this mean for you? If there is ever any mechanical damage to the roof, such as falling tree branches or accidental cuts, the roof is easily fixed by just welding a patch to the damaged area. No need for special cleaners or glue. Just wipe the dust off and weld.

As an additional benefit to the environment and to your wallet, an IB roof will outlast 2, 3 or even more conventional roofs, which would otherwise have to be dumped in a landfill.

As a certified IB Roof Systems Installer, we can install and IB roof for you in any part of Massachusetts, Connecticut & Rhode Island, as well as in southern ME, NH and VT. Schedule your flat roofing inspection / estimate today.

Metal Roofing Installation – Our Unique Approach




It is no secret that a metal roof, although designed to last a lifetime, is only as good as its installers. Additionally, metal roofing is a completely different animal than asphalt shingle roofs, cedar shake or even slate roofing, and to be able to install a metal roof correctly, you need a professionally trained metal roof mechanic.

Usually when a metal roof is installed by a seasoned roofer, who never worked with at least one of many types of metal roofing, the results are more than sad. The roof begins to leak with the first rain, the roofer’s reputation suffers and a very unhappy customer seeks to resolve the problems with the manufacturer, and files complaints with BBB, Angie’s List and other consumer protection organizations. Fortunately, all of these troubles can be avoided if a professional metal roofer is hired to do the job.

We understand the needs of home and business owners, and their demand for the highest quality of materials and installation. We hand pick the best materials and the most thoroughly thought-out roofing systems, and combine them with our unique installation methods, which in the end, provide you with a true lifetime roofing solution, and unmatched beauty for your home.



Examples of our unique approach to installation of metal roofing:

In the above video clip, you can see how we approach the installation of this residential metal roof in Revere, MA. As with most roofs, attic ventilation is crucial to the longevity of the roof, its wooden substrate and the health of the entire home, including its occupants. There are multiple ways to ventilate the attic space, but the most effective way is to utilize a ridge and soffit ventilation system, where the cold air enters the attic through the soffit vents, located along the eaves of the roof and escapes through the ridge vent. However, the ridge vent is often the path through which the wind driven water can penetrate the roof, causing slow, but devastating damages to the roof’s framing. Since the amount of water coming through the ridge vent is usually insignificant, homeowners will not notice the leak for many years, at which point the damage has already been done, and repairs can cost thousands of dollars. It is very common that the wooden substrate is completely rotten along the ridge line, and so are the tips of the rafters merging at the peak of the roof.

The solution to ridge vent leaks:

Water-tight ridge vent system

Water-tight ridge vent system

We designed a special way to raise the ridge vent off the roof level by 3/4 of an inch. While insignificant in terms of aesthetics, this bump-out prevents the wind driven water to enter the ridge vent cut-out, while the ventilation still works just as efficiently as it would have otherwise. Notice, that the custom flashing we use rests on top of a pressure treated 1×4 board. The flashing is inserted into the top lock of the last course of aluminum shingles, which makes it impossible for wind driven water to penetrate the roof. Just as an extra protection measure, we use commercial grade exterior caulking at the joins of top locks between every shingle.