Frequently Asked Questions


Thinking of having Phoenix Construction Group, re-roof your project? Below are some the most frequently asked questions that we get from our customers. If you have additional questions or can't find the information you need, please contact us.

If you prefer, contact us and we are happy to answer your question.

General Questions

  • Why Do You Recommend the Removal of My Old Roof?

    Generally the first step of a composition reroof is roof removal, or as we call it in the industry “tear off”. We always recommend that our customers remove their old roof. Some cities and counties may allow a roofing contractor to install a new asphalt composition shingle roof to be installed over the existing roof, this is what we refer to as an overlay. It varies from city to city as each city sets their own policies. Even though your city permit center may allow for an overlay we never recommend it for a few reasons:

    • Adding another layer of shingles to your roof will obviously increase the load on your roof and could potentially lead to sagging over time.
    • Another major reason why we don’t recommend an overlay with composition shingles is because you never remove the existing roof system and get to see any potential existing dry rot.

  • What is Dry Rot?

    Dry rot is a fungal timber decay that occurs in poorly ventilated and moist areas of the roof. Dry-rot leads to cracking, powdering and ultimate deterioration of any timber products such as plywood roof sheathing, roof rafters, fascia boards and gable trim or barge rafters. It may be an additional cost to repair this newly discovered dry rot but it is something you definitely want to address as soon as possible. Left untreated, dry rot can spread throughout lumber and lead to a much more extensive repair.

  • Do You Repair Dry Rot?

    Once we remove the roofing shingles it may be fairly simple and straight forward to remove and replace plywood roof sheeting, but if moisture and poorly vented conditions have existed for a long enough time then the dry rot may potentially spread through the plywood roof sheeting and into the rafters of the roof system. At this point we are addressing structural repairs. The more load bearing the lumber is the more time consuming and expensive the repair will be. Once we remove the existing asphalt roof shingles we then inspect the roof deck for dry rot. We gather measurements of any existing dry rot and create a change order.

    Left untreated, dry rot can deteriorate a roof system from the inside.

  • Should I Inspect My Roof for Dry Rot?

    We don’t recommend that you walk the roof to inspect your roof. There could be many unseen areas of dry rot that would potentially harm to you. The downside to many homeowners is the fact that you must rely on the honesty of the roofing contractor when it comes to changes in scope of work.

    The average roofing company only stays in business for around two years and then they close up shop, this is often due to dishonest installation tactics, taking on too large of projects or in some cases underpricing themselves because they don’t truly understand their overhead and how costly the proper insurances can be.

    Make sure to do some research and find a trustworthy roofing contractor that has a good track record and experience in the industry.

  • Is Dry Rot Visible From the Attic?

    We can look in the attic and visually inspect the roof sheeting from the underside and inform our customers if the dry rot is so bad that it has spread through the roof plywood and rafters, but in most cases the dry rot has only affected the top side of the plywood and there is no sign of damage from the underside yet. So more common than not we have to remove the roof shingles before we can get a full dry rot count. We then provide a change order to remove and replace all dry rot.

  • What is a Dry Rot Inspection?

    After any dry rot has been corrected Phoenix Construction Group then calls in for city inspection. Please note that every city has different required inspections. Some cities require a tear off inspection, an in-progress inspection and a final inspection, while some cities only require a final inspection. This means a roofing contractor could potentially never inform the customers of any dry rot and just roof over this area and be ready for a final inspection. Therefore, it is imperative to find a trustworthy roofing contractor that has integrity and plans on being in business for many years to come.

Roof Sheathing

  • What is Spaced Sheathing?

    Spaced sheathing (or skip sheathing). Spaced sheathing commonly consists of 1”x6” or 1”x8” boards which run parallel with the roofs eaves and over and perpendicular to the rafters or trusses. These boards usually have a 6-8” space in between each row, hence the name spaced sheathing.

    In order to install an asphalt composition shingle roof, the roof deck will need to be solid sheathed, meaning no spaces. The most cost-effective way to remedy this is for a roofing contractor to install OSB (oriented sand board) plywood of the spaced sheathing. This will create a uniform, solid, workable deck for your new dimensional shingles.

    Side note, some people use sheathing and sheeting interchangeably but actually sheathing is a verb which means to encase with a protective layer, i.e. sheathing a roof. sheet is a noun which refers to a sheet or 4’x8’ piece of OSB plywood. So, the correct way to use the terms would be to say, “the roofer is sheathing the roof with sheets of plywood”.

  • What is Solid Sheathing?

    The second type of roof sheathing is solid sheathed. On older homes (roughly pre-1980’s) the solid sheathing was achieved by using 1” x 8” boards and butting them tight together as to leave no large gaps. This type of sheathing is acceptable to install a new composition shingle roof over, but the roofing contractor must make sure there are no large gaps. A common issue with 1x boards used for solid sheathing is that they would dry out and crack over the years, they would also have large knot holes that would fall out that could result in large holes in the roof deck. These areas need to be changed out with new boards before composition shingles can be installed.

    Another type of solid sheathing is traditional plywood or the more popular OSB, oriented strand board. Plywood as a solid sheathed roof deck is usually the optimal working surface. The large sheets provide a uniform surface and they don’t shrink and crack like timber boards. If, after roof removal, a solid sheathed roof deck exists then the roofing contractor will just have to do a visual inspection for dry rot.

  • What is a Nailing Inspection?

    A “nailing inspection” this is when an inspector from your local city ensures that the plywood was nailed off with the correct size nails and in the right nailing pattern. Once the inspection is signed off the roofing contractor can move on to the dimensional comp roofing stage. Most cities will require a “nailing inspection”, but we handle all the scheduling, and all the details for you.

Roofing Underlayments

  • Should We Use Synthetic Roofing Felt?

    The first step to installing an asphalt based composition roofing system is to install felt underlayment. A common issue with traditional roof systems is that asphalt-based roofing felt is used. This felt is notorious for absorbing moisture and failing before the roofing shingles in some cases.

    As a standard we use synthetic felt weaved with fiberglass strands. This synthetic felt is many times stronger than traditional felt and it wicks water away rather than absorbing it. For example, traditional felt may last through one or two rains before it begins to buckle and curl up, after a few weeks of bad weather the felt will most likely need to be replaced. Synthetic felt can be exposed to bad weather for up to 6 months with no alteration in appearance or structural integrity.

    Synthetic felt is a key component to our total protection roofing system designed by Owens Corning.

  • What is Roofing Felt?

    Felt is basically a rolled asphalt-based construction paper that is installed over your plywood roofing deck before the tile is installed. Roofing felt, by nature, will shed water for a period of time but if water is directly contacting the felt for a long period of time (multiple months) then the felt will begin to deteriorate and ultimately the water will seep into the plywood deck causing dry rot in the plywood.

    So now you can see why one cracked tile, or missing shingle can lead to a much more extensive roofing repair if left uncorrected for a long enough period of time. The best way to combat this issue is to have regular roof inspections, maybe every 1-2 years.

Roof Penetrations, Flashings, etc…

  • I've Been Told That Larger Flashing is Not Worth the Additional Expense. What Do You Recommend?

    Dry rot is found at the overhang edges of the roof more often than any other area. Other common dry rot locations include around chimneys and around pipe penetrations. Our company has noted this common issue and we came up with a way to combat it.

    These particular areas take what is referred to as a “flashing”. A flashing is usually a piece of metal that is fabricated to go around roof penetrations to help prevent water intrusion into your roof system. The building code and city require a minimum size of flashing for each area of the roof.

    The problem is most contractors just include the bare minimum that is required by code and install it on your roof without ever discussing potential dry rot issues with the customer. Our solution is to include oversized metal flashings as a standard line item. We would rather be proactive about protecting our customers and have to justify the extra cost rather than delivering the lowest possible price with the cheapest materials.

    For example, as stated earlier, the most common dry rot area is along the edge of the roof overhangs. Building and most city code requires a 1.5”x1.5” metal flashing (referred to as a nosing) along this overhang area. Our standard flashing for this area is a 2”x3” pre-painted nosing. This means that you have 3” of flashing metal going onto the roof deck under the roofing shingle, that’s double the required minimum.

    The same goes for all other areas that require flashing. We use oversized metal flashing at all penetrations and roof chimneys. We don’t just go out and slap down some roof shingles, we have instituted a complete roof system that works as one unit to help reduce the risk premature failure and to help protect your investment over a long period of time.

  • Do You Use Valley Metal?

    Yes. Another common issue with new shingle roof installation is at the roof valleys. The roof valley can be weaved with composition shingles kind of like a basket. Sometimes these valleys are not weaved correctly, and it becomes a shingle leak area.

    As a standard we include valley metal in all valleys and then the shingles are roofed up to the valley. This valley laps underneath the composition shingles and provides superior protection against water intrusion.

    This is by far the optimal way to go.

  • Should My Roofing Contractor Use Sealants?

    A penetration in a roof system refers to anything that penetrates up and out of the roof system such as abs vent pipes, roof vents, hot water heater exhaust pipes, etc. Many times, these penetrations are sealed with a low-grade silicone or even asphalt-based mastic. This method of sealing tends to hold up for roughly 10-15 years before it begins to crack and split. These cracks allow water to follow the pipes down into the walls of the home and eventually lead to interior drywall damage. The best way to prevent this is to use a construction grade sealant with a long manufacturer warranty, i.e. a 50-year manufacturer warrantied roof sealant.

Composition Shingles

  • What Are Pre-Formed Shingles?

    Some things to look out for while having a roofing contractor install your new shingle roof; make sure the roofer installs preformed ridge trim shingles. These shingles are formed at an angle in the factory and they are designed to be bent without cracking.

    All too often roofing contractors take the regular shingles themselves, cut pieces out of the field shingle and install them at the peak of the roof as a ridge trim. We have seen countless cases where the proper ridge shingle was not used, and all of the ridge is cracked and split open as early as 10 years after installation.

  • What Should I Do If I Have Missing Shingles?

    Missing shingles are a sign of some potential issues with the roofing system. It's generally a sign that the shingles are losing their tar seal. It's a good idea to have the roof inspected by a professional to determine the overall condition of the roof.

  • What If I Have Shingles That Are Missing Some Granular?

    Missing granular is generally a sign that the shingles are coming to the end of their life. The granular keeps the shingles from drying out and cracking. Exposed shingles will start to dry out and crack, giving water a place to enter your roof system. It's definitely time to have the roof inspected.

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Phoenix Construction Group

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Phoenix Construction Group is making homes and businesses more energy efficient in California.

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