Roofs 2021


Whenever Dean is asked to talk about roofs …

He has to share his favorite piece of roof prose from the British comedian, Leslie Dawson:

"In awe, I sat and watched the waxing moon ride across the zenith of the heavens like an ambered chariot towards the ebony void of infinite space wherein the tethered belts of Jupiter and Mars hang, forever festooned in their orbital majesty. And as I sat and looked at all this I thought... I should probably put a roof on this outhouse.”

The roof is the most primal element of architecture. The very definition of shelter. It's become a common idiom, "a roof over our heads." When you tell stories of first starting out and times were tough you say, "we didn't have much money but we had each other, and a roof over our heads."

Your roof is also, arguably, perhaps the least accessible and often least understood part of your home.

Architecturally speaking, how important is a roof?

  • For the average house the roof makes up 40% of the field of view from the curb.
  • It’s no more important than hair is to your look!
  • Your roof represents the dignity of your home. The coziness of your home. The strength and safety of your home.
  • The design integrity of your home.
  • The detailing or lack thereof sets the stage for your home’s entire story.
  • Sadly most roofs are boring, thin, and uninspiring. Well, that is something we shall have to remedy.

How do you know your roof needs replacing?

  • Multiple leaks
  • Curled up shingles
  • Rock granules on ground after a rain
  • Rusted flashing
  • Age: 20-25 years

How do you track down a leak?

  • Open the drywall and follow the water.
  • Follow horizontal members
  • Look for likely culprits upslope - penetrations, broken shingles, flashings

Is there really anything you can do to alter the design of your roof?

  • Move those vents
  • Paint those vents
  • Consider adding dormers
  • Consider changing the color of the fascia and eaves
  • Consider changing the angle of the fascia board or removing it altogether
  • Consider the appearance of the gutters. Don't necessarily try to hide them.

Before you re-roof

  • Understand California's "cool roof" requirements - Cool Roof - 2016 California Title 24 Part 6 Cool Roof Requirements. - Cool roofs are NOT mandatory, they are a component of an overall energy requirement. Some products reflect up to 40% of solar radiation
  • Improve attic venting
  • Only consider a roofing over existing roof if there's only one layer and no leaks
  • Use the best possible underlayment
  • Combine a reroof with attic cleaning, rodent proofing, and re-insulation
  • Don't pay until you see the magnet

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

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