Frequently Asked Questions B&T Roofing Ltd. Frequently-Asked Questions

What are the differences between 3-tab and dimensional shingles?

What does it mean when a shingle is referred to as a 20-, 30- or 50-year shingle?

What is ice damming, and how can I prevent ice dams on my roof?

What should I do if my house develops ice dams?

Other than insulation and ventilation, is there anything else I can do to prevent ice dams?

Why does my house require ventilation?

What's the difference between a material warranty and a workmanship warranty?

What are the differences between 3-Tab and Dimensional shingles?

Both 3-tab and dimensional shingles are made from asphalt, the same material on which we all drive.  A 3-tab shingle is named for the three "tabs" you see when you look at a shingle.  A 3-tab shingle, while perfectly serviceable and a great choice for your roof, gives the roof a distinctive "flat" look.  In the 1970's, dimensional shingles were developed for the high-end home market, using additional layers of asphalt material to give the roof an appearance more like cedar shakes.

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What does it mean when a shingle is referred to as a 20-, 30- or 50-year shingle?

The number of years referred to in a shingle's nomenclature is the lifespan of the shingle under optimum conditions.  A 50-year shingle will be thicker and heavier than a shingle rated at 20 or 30 years.  A shingle is expected to encounter heat and cold, along with rain, snow and other precipitation.  Winds higher than the shingle rating, ice build-up under the shingles (a result of temperature inconsistencies on the roof) and ice damming will all have a negative impact on your roof's expected lifespan. 

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What is ice damming, and how can I prevent ice dams on my roof?

An ice dam is a buildup of ice along the eave and in the gutter of your home.  Ice damming occurs when the sun (or heat from your home, in the case of a poorly-insulated house) melts melts snow on your roof, then the resulting water travels down to a colder portion of your roof.  As the meltwater travels to a colder portion of the roof, it re-freezes, accumulating along the eave and in the gutter, preventing subsequent meltwater from traveling through the gutter and away from the home.  Ice damming can cause any number of problems with your roof, including broken shingle seals, bent gutters, roof leaks and ceiling stains.

While ice damming cannot be prevented completely, a home that is well-insulated and effectively ventilated will experience far fewer ice dams than one with minimal or no insulation and insufficient ventilation.  If you've seen long icicles on your home, it's a sure sign that your insulation and ventilation could be improved.

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What should I do if my house develops ice dams?

Prevention of ice damming is key.  If you've seen icicles in winters past, call B&T Roofing Ltd. today for an evaluation of your home's roof, ventilation and insulation.  If you see ice dams right now, it might be tempting to try to remove the snow from your roof using a broom or roof rake.  While some homeowners are experienced at this type of task, we recommend calling B&T Roofing Ltd.'s emergency service line at 614/554-7075.  We'll arrange for a crew to remove the snow and ice safely while maintaining the integrity of your roof.  In the past, removal of a home's gutters was considered as a potential solution to ice damming.  This is extremely counterproductive, leading to meltwater runoff falling directly down the eave to your home's foundation, which can cause permanent structural damage.

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Other than insulation and ventilation, is there anything else I can do to prevent ice dams?

Insulation and ventilation are the two most important factors in preventing ice dams; however, your roof's overhang area is where ice damming occurs.  While heat traveling from your house to the roof can be controlled, meltwater from the sun's warmth cannot be prevented.  B&T Roofing Ltd. offers a product to heat the roof overhang area, along with the gutters and downspouts, just enough to keep the meltwater traveling down the roof and into the gutters, away from the house.

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Why does my house require ventilation ?

Here in central Ohio, we've all opened the windows to let in the breeze and move hot, stale air out of our homes.  In a poorly-ventilated bathroom, warm, wet air left behind after a shower encourages mold growth.  The key to a healthy, energy-efficient home is good ventilation.  Picture your home's attic during July, August and September.  Hot, humid air trapped in your attic acts as a blanket, holding in hot air in your home's upper levels and making your air conditioner work harder, raising energy bills and shortening the life of your HVAC equipment.  During the winter months, ventilation removes moisture from the attic and roof structure, helping to prevent water from backing up under shingles and the formation of ice dams.  

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What's the difference between a material warranty and a workmanship warranty?

Any time work is performed on your roof, whether it's a new installation, a repair or full replacement, two entities are involved:  the materials used, and the company and its people who install those materials.  A material warranty is the manufacturer's guarantee that the shingles and accompanying accessories--ridge vent, underlayment, valley, etc.--have been manufactured correctly.  A workmanship warranty is the installer's assurance that the materials have been installed correctly, according to the manufacturer's recommendations.  Your roof is subject to many forces, including heat and cold, moisture, wind and even contact with the occasional tree or other unintended object.  Even a roof that has had quality materials installed correctly may still develop a leak, and at B&T Roofing Ltd., we'll examine your roof closely to determine whether a leak or other problem is covered by your material warranty or workmanship warranty.

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