North Star Contracting
Class A License #2705181375 (RBC)

Roofing FAQ

Why Do Shingles Have Blended Colors?

The coloring process the ceramic granules go through creates variations depending on the thickness of the application and other variables. Manufacturers intentionally variegate the coloring on the granules so these variations are not obvious. The end result is a shingle that has multiple-colored granules, creating a unique color to the shingle palette. Shingle colors that come from different plants will also vary in the final color.

What Is a Drip Edge, and Is It Recommended?

A drip edge provides a metal flashing edge to help prevent water from being blown in under the shingle and protect the edge of the plywood and trim. This material is noncorrosive and comes in a couple of color options. It is recommended to help prevent wood rot along the eaves (gutter line) and the rakes (angled roofline).

What Is Flashing, and Is It Important?

Flashing refers to a noncorrosive metal applied to the areas the roof intersects with (i.e., chimneys, house walls, valleys, etc.). It can also refer to the pipes that come out of the roof where a pipe boot flashing is used.

What Is FRT Wood?

This is typically found on townhomes where the roof adjoins the neighboring roof. FRT stands for “fire-retardant treated” plywood. The plywood will alternate in width between a half-sheet and a full sheet as it staggers up the roof. This material will help prevent the spread of flames from one housing unit to the next.

What are 3-Tab Shingles?

These shingles are 36 inches wide and have 3 rectangular tabs with a 5-inch exposure along the bottom or exposed edge of the shingle. They provide a flat appearance with no architectural design. They are the least expensive option to have installed on the roof.

What are Laminated Shingles?

These shingles are designed as a flat base shingle with a laminated toothed section on the top, providing a 3-dimensional appearance to the roof. This category of shingles is much larger and can provide luxury looks, such as slate or shake-like appearances.

What Is Underlayment or Roofing Felt?

This material can be constructed from asphalt paper installed on the roof decking, providing additional protection to the wood decking. This is available in 15-pound, 30-pound, and synthetic options. Synthetic was originally designed for applications and long-term exposure to the elements, such as rain and UV radiation. This is not necessary for residential roofs as they are re-roofed within 1-2 days on average. The difference between the 15-pound and 30-pound variants is the thickness. The thicker option is preferable on steep roofs to help with tearing while walking around and installing the shingles.

What Is an Ice and Water Shield?

This is a self-adhering membrane installed along the eaves of the roof, in the valleys, and around roof penetrations. It is waterproof and self-seals around the nails holding the shingles down, helping to prevent damage from ice dams that can form in the wintertime. It can also provide waterproofing from leaves that can collect around roof penetrations, such as pipes, skylights, chimneys, and valleys.

What are Ice Dams?

Ice dams typically form at the lowest part of the roof’s eave where there is no heat coming from the attic to melt the snow or ice. As the snow melts at the higher part of the roof where there is more heat in the attic, it runs down the roof to the eave where it re-freezes and slowly extends up the roof and gets under the shingles, which is when a leak will eventually occur.