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Frequently Asked Questions


Below you will find a list of frequently asked roofing questions.  If there is a particular question you do not see below please contact us and we will get the question and answer posted at the next update.  Thanks for your questions and support to help us make this site more informative for all who view.

General Shingle & Cedar Shake Installation Questions:

Does cellophane strip need to be removed before installation?  No, shingle manufacturers' place these strips on the shingles to keep them from bonding to the other shingles at point of manufacture.  These will not line up with the seal strip with proper application.

What is the lowest slope a manufacturer will allow shingles to be installed? Manufacturers have different requirements for low slope shingle application.  These requirements will be listed on every package of shingles with the general application instructions. Each manufacturer has various requirements (i.e. double layer felt, less exposure on shingles, ice and water guard)

Is felt required under shingle roofs?  Most all Building Codes require underlayment under shingle roofs.  For areas outside of Shelby County, TN, check with local building requirements.  NOTE: You should consult the shingle wrapper for manufacturer requirements and building code before any roof installation.  Felt should always be used on new roof decks or when roofs are torn off and replaced.

When installing wood shake shingles, what fasteners should be used?  Due to the different treating process' (i.e. CCA, ACQ, and CA type A & B) you should consult your distributor or manufacturer to ensure fasteners are correct for the product you are installing.

Why is Cold Applied Modified Bitumen better for low slope applications than 90#?  Cold applied Modified Bitumen (SBS) is a far superior product than standard 90# roll roofing in almost all applications.  It has greater tear/puncture resistance and better weathering characteristics.  The cost is more, but the longevity of the product makes the greater expense outweigh the use of 90#.  Consult the products pages for available SBS products and application instructions.

Roof Algae Questions:

What Causes the stains or streaks on asphalt roof shingles?  The discoloration on roofs seems to be an ever increasing problem.  It has been referred to in the roofing trade as "Fungus Growth" or "Mildew". but is actually algae growth.  Algae usually appears as a brown-gray to black appearance and may be confused with dirt or soot build up.  It is less likely to be noticed on black or darker colored roofs.  There are several types of roof algae.

According to 3-M in St Paul MN. explains that most of this common black streaking is caused by a specific variety of algae known as Gloeocapsa magma.  Gloeocapsa is black hardy, blue-green strain of algae that produces it own energy source and feeds on inorganic materials.  ...unlike fungus or mildew which requires organic matter to survive.  This algae develops a tough cellular sheath that protects it from toxic substances, which makes it more resistant to some removal methods.  The dark stains are the result of dead algae cells that accumulate and build up over time.

Why is it only on one side of my house?  Will it get worse?  Algae spores that become airborne can deposit on all types of surfaces.  Usually, it first appears on the more northerly roof areas, or shaded areas - where the roof remains damp longer.  Once it develops, it starts to spread to other roof areas.  Eventually, it can cover the entire roof, even transfer to adjacent houses.

When does algae growth start?  Algae colonies may establish themselves within the first 12-24 months after a roof installation.  It may not become visually noticeable until about 4-7 years after roof installation.  Most unpredictable.

What problems can algae discoloration cause?  Primarily cosmetic - degrading curb appeal.  Algae makes property seem old and neglected.  The resale value of property can be adversely affected solely because of appearance.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer's Association (ARMA), and roofing manufacturers say algae discoloration does not adversely affect the service-life expectancy or asphalt roofing, only the appearance.

Can discoloration cause failure?  Not to be confused with algae - there are mold-like growths that can cause or lead to premature roof failure, if left to uncontrolled growth and build up.  This mold-like growth con start to grow up and under the tabs of shingles, causing the shingles to lift up and unseal, which can make the roof begin leaking.  This type of growth is rare and us usually found on roof sin damp areas, that are surrounded by trees which receive virtually no sunlight.  This type is quite noticeable usually has a dark green-yellow color.

Can it be cleaned off?  Yes, Algae growth may be cleaned, but it is difficult to remove.  The effectiveness usually is temporary, since it may recur.  There are possible hazards connected with the use of cleaners, such as damage to paint, shrubbery, the roofing and other parts of the building.  Cleaning can be cone with diluted bleach or using commercial roof cleaners.  CAUTION:  Some cleaners can be extremely slippery and/or harmful to the user.

Local companies specialize in cleaning roofs.  It is recommended you secure references and the check with your local Better Business Bureau.  High pressure washing should not be used on asphalt roofing.