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Frequently Asked Questions:

Roofing Questions.
What is a fiber glass shingle? 

As you may know, there are two basic types of asphalt shingles. Each consists of a core material that is coated with asphalt, and then covered with granules. This core, or base material may be either fiber glass mat or organic felt. Shingles made of each type of base material possess specific characteristics and attributes that recommend them for particular situations. 

Fiber glass shingles carry a Class A fire resistance rating from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the highest fire rating available. Thus, fiber glass shingles are the best protection against the spread of flame on a roof. Fiber glass shingles are so called because they are built on a core, or mat, of fiber glass reinforcement. Asphalt coating is applied directly to this mat, and protective, colored granules are embedded into the coating. Since the mat does not need to be saturated with asphalt, fiber glass shingles are lighter in weight than organic shingles and are more resistant to heat and humidity. Perhaps the most important factor that influences the quality of fiber glass shingle performance is the quality of the mat used in the construction of the shingle. Throughout the roofing industry, the quality of fiber glass mats varies widely. 

Which shingle -- fiber glass or organic -- is better? 

In the end, it must be said that either fiber glass or organic shingles can be manufactured to withstand extreme performance standards. Clearly, fiber glass-based shingles have the edge in warm weather areas. Both types of shingles can be made to perform well in cold weather. But fiber glass shingles must be manufactured to the most stringent performance standards to perform reliably in the far north. Not all fiber glass shingles meet these standards. So, it is a case of buyer beware. 

What is an asphalt shingle? 

Both fiber glass and organic-based shingles are asphalt shingles although because organic shingles were developed before fiber glass shingles, the term "asphalt shingles" is often used to reference organic shingles only. 

What is a composite shingle? 

The same thing as an asphalt shingle; basically, any shingle constructed of a base (fiber glass or organic), asphalt and granules.

What is an architectural or dimensional shingle? 

Unlike standard 3-tab, or strip shingles, which are single layer in design, a growing number of shingles are multi-layered or "laminated." With a laminated shingle, random tabs or pads are applied to the base shingle to provide a layered effect that produces enhanced depth and dimension. When applied to the roof, laminated shingles also provide additional layers of coverage.

What is "SureStart" protection?

SureStart protection is designed to give the customer maximum protection during the early years following application. The SureStart period of the warranties varies by product from the first three to the first 10 years following application. SureStart protection, created by CertainTeed, provides full replacement cost on labor and materials if a manufacturing defect is discovered during the SureStart period. This means there will be no prorating of the CertainTeed liability during the SureStart period. Plus, the warranty and the remaining SureStart protection may be transferred to a new owner by the original purchaser during the SureStart period. Click here for more detailed information on SureStart protection.

Does a longer warranty mean a better product? 

Since it is probable that defects, should any be present, will appear during the first three to five years of the life of the roof, a longer warranty does not necessarily mean as much as it would appear to. 

If underlayment is not used on a roofing application, is the shingle warranty voided? 

No. It's a recommendation, not a requirement. Standard shingle underlayment is not warranted by the manufacturer against defects in manufacturing. Some manufacturers make their shingle warranties conditional upon use of underlayment The use of WinterGuard or a double layer of standard shingle underlayment is required on slopes of 2/12, up to 4/12. However, we strongly recommend the use of underlayment on all slopes to "dry in" an exposed wood deck and to comply with Underwriters Laboratories requirements. 

Waterproofing shingle underlayments, do not, in many cases, carry a warranty. Some carry warranties for five years. WinterGuard is warranted to protect against leakage, wherever it is applied, for 10 years.

What are ice dams? 

The typical ice dam is a buildup of ice that forms near the eaves or gutters as the result of interior heat escaping into the attic and through the roof decking. The heat melts the snow and ice on the upper areas of the roof resulting in meltwater. This melted water runs to cold, lower areas or eaves and, depending on conditions, can refreeze. Leaks occur if the water finds its way under the shingles or behind fascias or cornices.

How does WinterGuard waterproofing underlayment work? 

WinterGuard is a self-sticking composite material of modified asphalt and glass mat, formed into a rolled sheet. The asphalt provides the waterproofing. The polymers make the asphalt elastic and sticky, all the way through the sheet. The result is an amazing ability to both stretch and seal. This means that WinterGuard doesn't rip when stressed. It seals around nails driven through. It sticks to a clean deck like glue. And, it won't dry out during the warranted lifetime of an asphalt shingle system. The result is a warranted waterproof barrier beneath the shingle system, which pooled water and wind-driven rain cannot penetrate.


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