But that raises the question: Which accessories are best?
Keith Reece, Re-roof Production Manager for Collis Roofing near Orlando, Fla., uses an assortment of roofing accessories on his projects. Among the accessories Collis Roofing utilizes include valley metal, drip edge, J-vents, lead boots, and off ridge vents.
“As per code, any change in pitch or direction requires a layer of flashing,” Reece said.
The most popular roofing accessory for Collis Roofing is the shingle-over vent made by Lomanco.
“Lomanco is designed to increase airflow throughout the attic and also give an elegant look overall,” Reece said. “This is our most popular accessory.”
Roofing accessories, after all, can be the cherry on top, the icing on the cake for many residential customers.
“All roofing accessories work to some degree for each purpose they are designed,” Reece said. “Lead boots protect pipes against the elements; J-vents protect any vent pipe such as dryers, bathroom fans.”
One of the big mistakes contractors can make is using accessories already on a roof, according to Reece. “Never reuse any accessory on your existing roof,” Reece warned. “Any accessories that look worn or have been sitting for a while should be replaced with new components.”
Reece said all roofing accessories are generally installed while the roof is being installed. “Lomanco is the last step in finishing the roof,” said Reece, noting an average work crew at Collis Roofing (www.collisroofing.com) consists of six men per house.
Heath Tichenor of Battle Creek (Mich.) Roofing & Insulating said roofing accessories are “pretty simple” to install and his company does it all, including installation of the following: a ridge vent (Shingle Vent II); chimney flashing (0.032 Kynar finished aluminum with reglet hem); step flashing for roof wall transitions; neoprene pipe boots; bath vents; and hip and ridge, depending on shingle being used.
“We also use a custom-made copper ridge cap on higher-end shingles or existing roofs with algae problems,” Tichenor said. “Our goal with roof accessories is to approach the roof as a system, keeping in mind warranty and local building codes.”
Tichenor said it is rare to find a roof that already meets code. “Inadequate ventilation is generally an issue,” he said. “Shower fans in most residential and light commercial structures are rarely vented thru the roof.”
Finishing TouchesRoofmaster Products Co. in Monterey Park, Ca., has been at the forefront of residential accessories for asphalt roofing products for over a decade with their High Quality Roof Flashing (aerosol) Paint.
“In prior years, contractors just left flashings with a raw metal finish, or would paint it just in black or brown if it got painted at all,” said John MacLaughlin, National Marketing Manager at Roofmaster. “In order to get contractors to use it, the product had to be quick, easy and inexpensive.”
But several years of development produced the current Roofmaster product that comes in 16 colors, sprays on and dries fast, and matches over 25 manufacturers’ different roofing products. Roofmaster provides a color-matching matrix chart that lists all manufacturers’ colors, MacLaughlin said. Find the manufacturer’s product and color and this chart will show you which Roofmaster paint color to use with that product and color.
“Besides blending with the metal flashings into the roof environment so they’re not noticed, additionally this flashing paint provides rust protection and holds up very well to the UV rays of the sun and will not chip or peel,” MacLaughlin said.
Roofmaster High Quality Roof Flashing Paint is available at over 700 distributors nationwide. For more information, visit www.roofmaster.com.
At CertainTeed Corporation (www.certainteed.com ), the Mountain Ridge High-Profile Hip and Ridge Accessory is an ideal finishing touch for roofs, according to Bob Gardiner, Vice President of Marketing for CertainTeed.
“Compared to other hip and ridge accessories that can give roofs a striped look, Mountain Ridge incorporates varying colors to present a unified, finished look,” Gardiner said. “It’s a noticeable difference that allows roofs to stand out by blending in.”
Mountain Ridge features a tri-laminate base that presents a high-profile look and prevents sagging over time with each edge rounded for more substantial appeal. Mountain Ridge’s color blends with CertainTeed Landmark Series, Landmark TL, Presidential Shake and Presidential Shake TL shingles.
“Underneath, a special release tape, factory-applied to Mountain Ridge, keeps shingles from sticking together in the package,” Gardiner said. “The tape also protects the roof from damage, saves time on installation and increases safety. In addition, the five-layer design of Mountain Ridge is heavier than other hip and ridge accessories, keeping it securely attached and improving wind resistance.”
Like every other product, accessories must be chosen and installed with care. At Pacific West Roofing, Stan Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) said there are a lot of new accessories on the market, but he cautions that some are unproven.
“I’ll find stuff nobody else has,” Robinson said. “Accessories on top of the roof, the roof vents that have matching granulation, are one of the most talked about accessories out there. But I don’t like them. When debris gets around it, there’s a lot of debris that clogs up the vents, and that causes more trouble.”
“Accessories are a great attraction and looks great, but they can cause problems, especially if they aren’t installed correctly,” Robinson reiterated. “The average contractor will say, ‘We’ll throw those on.’ But if they’re not installed right, they’re more trouble than they’re worth.”
In particular, Robinson pointed to rubber seal pipe flashings as a problem area for roofing accessories. “The ultraviolet rays eat the rubber up,” Robinson said. “Anybody can put four nails in a shingle, but when it comes to details, if you don’t cut your valley shingles correctly, you’re going to get water.”
“We have to use the best accessories we can find,” he continued. “The devil is in the details. If you don’t do the details right, you will have nothing except more work.”