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Nestor_Kelebay 04-21-2010 05:57 PM

"Laminate" shingles
My sister's uninsulated and unheated garage needs new shingles on the roof.

Just about everyone I talk to says that these new "laminate" shingles are the only way to go. Not only are they less expensive than asphalt shingles, but they last longer as well. I'm wondering what people in here have to say about them.

Also, I was told by one contractor here in Winnipeg that I don't need to tarpaper her roof before shingling because she has a 4:12 slope, which is supposedly steep enough to keep the wind from blowing water up under the shingles. However, a different contractor said that you need to install tar paper if you're installing laminate shingles. Does anyone know if this is true, and why?

Finally, I think it's a good idea to install drip caps simply to protect the wood board that runs along the eve from rotting. But, I'm wondering if this can be done effectively without removing the evestrough? Would they simply notch the drip cap with tin snips wherever those long nails (called "ferrels") are and slip it behind the evestrough and then nail it down to the roof deck? Finally, it seems to me that the drip cap should go on first, under the tarpaper. Is this correct?

Can anyone think of any reason NOT to go with laminate shingles? Everything I've heard people say about them is positive. In fact, one roofing company in Winnipeg I talked to says that they haven't installed any ashpalt shingles for over 2 1/2 years now. All they install is the laminate shingles. The guy told me that laminate shingles start at 30 year service life, but the price increases steeply if you want to go with 40, 45, 50 or "lifetime" laminate shingles. Well, my sister is 56 years old. I figure the 45 year shingles will do her until she's 101. But, realistically, I expect the 30 year shingles would actually last longer, say 35 years. That takes us to her 90th birthday, and by that time neither of us may even be around. So, I'm thinking of going with the least expensive 30 year laminate shingles. Anyone have any reason not to do that?

oldognewtrick 04-21-2010 06:30 PM

Nestor, laminate shingles are asphalt shingles, just a different construction method. Instead of a 3-tab strip they are called laminate because they have whats called a dragon tooth cut out and a strip applied to the back, hence laminate. They have a 1 layer 2 layer area to them. They are made to resemble wood shakes with a random, irregular surface. Laminate, architectural, dimensional are terms to describe this kind of shingle.

NEVER apply any shingles with out a suitable underlayment, when shingles are applied to a wood roof deck the resins in the wood will draw the moisture out of the shingles, underlayments are installed to act as a buffer between the shingle and the wood surface. Ice and water around the perimeter and in any valleys, 3 feet inside the exterior wall along the eave and drip edge around the entire roof deck.

Remember year ratings on a shingle life is like mileage ratings on tires. Will a 30 year shingle last 30 years? Probably not, maybe under ideal conditions but most likely you will be replacing well before 30 years. Its marketing and nothing more. Sorry.

Cork-Guy 04-21-2010 06:56 PM


Originally Posted by Nestor_Kelebay (Post 43936)
Just about everyone I talk to says that these new "laminate" shingles are the only way to go. Not only are they less expensive than asphalt shingles, but they last longer as well. I'm wondering what people in here have to say about them.

This might help you out with your decision: Architectural Shingles versus 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles


Originally Posted by Nestor_Kelebay (Post 43936)
Also, I was told by one contractor here in Winnipeg that I don't need to tarpaper her roof before shingling because she has a 4:12 slope, which is supposedly steep enough to keep the wind from blowing water up under the shingles. However, a different contractor said that you need to install tar paper if you're installing laminate shingles. Does anyone know if this is true, and why?

I'd be more worried about the local city\county code and not contractor's opinion. I'd find it very hard to believe their building code wouldn't require tar paper and probably ice shielding as well.

oldognewtrick 04-21-2010 07:21 PM

Theres been a move away from "TAR" paper toward fiberglass mat underlayment. Organic or paper based underlayments don't hold up as well and have a tendency to wrinkle, which can be telegraphed through to the shingles.

Nestor_Kelebay 04-21-2010 09:56 PM

OK, I've done a bit of snooping on the internet, and I think I was confused when I posted.

I was told there was a new kind of shingle called a "laminated" fiberglass shingle that was both cheaper and longer lasting than conventional asphalt shingles.

However, I'm finding that there hasn't been any change in the technology at all.

A standard 3 tab shingle IS a fiberglass shingle, and is constructed like this:

Wheras standard asphalt shingles years ago had an ordinary paper core that was soaked in asphalt to make it water proof, fiberglass shingles have a fiberglass mat core that is soaked in asphalt to make it water proof. Both the old standard asphalt shingles and fiberglass shingles were made by taking the asphalt impregnated paper or fiberglass core, applying asphalt on both sides and then applying ceramic granules to the top of the shingle. So the only difference between a standard asphalt shingle and a fiberglass shingle is the paper versus fiberglass core.

A "laminated" fiberglass shingle is just 1 1/2 fiberglass shingles, and it's made like this:

That is, it's essentially just a wide fiberglass shingle on top with a narrow fiberglass shingle below. A cut out section in the wider top layer exposes the narrower shingle. Like this:

And the whole idea is to achieve a different look than a 3 tab shingle. Since only the lower half of each laminated shingle is exposed, the resulting roof looks like this:

This quote from Cork-Guy's link says that laminated fiberglass shingles have a thicker fiberglass mat core, which makes them both stiffer and thicker, and that:

Because of their higher quality construction and longer warranties, architectural shingles are priced higher than 3-tab shingles. Typically architectural shingles can cost 20-40% more than 3-tab shingles. In addition, though less complicated then 3-tab shingle installation, they are more labor intensive due to the fact that more architectural shingle bundles are required then 3-tab shingles to cover the same square area. As a result, the overall roofing costs are considerably higher using architectural shingles. This said, the benefits associated architectural shingles far outweigh the added installation cost in most circumstances.

OK, I give up. Why are more architectural shingle bundles required than 3-tab shingle bundles to cover the same area?

Is it because architectural shingles are both thicker and heavier, and so they put fewer architectural shingles in a bundle than 3-Tab shingles? If that's the case, why would the overall roofing cost be significantly higher if the shingles are delivered to the roof top with a conveyor belt truck? I could see a difference in labour costs if the roofer had to carry more weight up a ladder onto a roof. But, every roofing materials supplier in Winnipeg will deliver the shingles right to the roof top.

(The only way I could see the overall roofing cost being higher would be if laminated fiberglass shingles were smaller than 3-Tab fiberglass shingles, and nothing I read said anything about the size being any different.)

OK, do I have the correct understanding of "laminated" fiberglass shingles now? And, are the labour costs higher using laminated fiberglass shingles, and what is the reason for this?

Nestor_Kelebay 04-21-2010 11:33 PM

Also, I'm thinking it would be a good idea to install a drip edge on her garage roof eves.

Ideally, it would be best to remove the evestroughs before installing the drip edge.

But, if they install the drip edge with the gutter in place, and just notch the drip edge for the "ferrules" (the long nails that hold the gutter up), is there any potential problems that can result?

Do all drip edges have a piece that juts out along the same slope as the roof line to support the bottom edge of the bottom row of shingles? I think I would prefer that simply because a lot of the shingles on the bottom row on her roof are cracked and broken along that bottom edge, and I don't know what's causing them to break there. I believe they wouldn't break if they were supported by metal.

oldognewtrick 04-22-2010 12:08 AM

Nestor, laminate shingles cost more for the product. They are rated in years to the consumer or end product user but to the installer they are really sold by weight. The amount of asphalt in a square (100 sq. ft.) really determines cost of materials. As the shingles go up in life span so does material weight and cost. We pay our installers more for installing heaver shingles as well. They are harder to handle and also cut and trim.

Most bundle weights are going to be around 80 lbs. thus reducing the number of shingles in a package as the weight of a square of shingles increases. On some heavy weight, lifetime shingles there are only 9 pieces of shingle in a wrapper.

When you see cracking along a edge its usually because the installer overhung the shingles to far ( to far and to little is a problem). You overhang a gable edge 1" without drip edge and 1/2" when using drip edge. 1-1/2" along the bottom edge. And yes a good installer will remove the gutter spikes and reinstall the gutter after the drip edge is installed, this will give you a better finished product. When you cut the drip edge to fit around the ferrules you compromise the integrity of the metal flashing and its water shedding ability.

Nestor_Kelebay 04-22-2010 09:34 AM


I talked to a company called RoofMart here in Winnipeg, and they're telling me that:

1. The cost of a bundle of 30 year laminated shingles and 30 year 3-Tab shingles is either the same, or within $1 of one another. (AND, that's a Canadian dollar, which is smaller than an American dollar.)

2. The reason why most roofing companies are going with the laminated shingle is two fold:
A. It gives the customer a "simulated slate" or "simulated cedar shake" roof for the same cost as a 3-Tab shingle roof, so they feel they're giving the customer a better deal at no cost to them, and
B. The laminated shingles have a simpler installation procedure; you stagger them up the roof just like a brick pattern rather then cutting them between tabs, and
C. The regular straight lines of 3-Tab shingles exagerate problems with the roof deck or tar paper. The random notch pattern of laminated shingles helps camoflage such problems.

So, when you add everything up:

1. Neither my sister nor myself care that her shingle garage roof looks like simulated slate or cedar shake roofing. We know they're asphalt shingles regardless of what they might look like when viewed with sunglasses on at night.

2. Her house was done about 15 years ago with 30 year 3-Tab shingles, so all else being equal, it seems to make sense to have the garage done with the same shingles as the house. The cost of materials and labour, I'm told, should be about the same either way.

I seem to be gravitating toward the well tested and proven standard technology of 3-Tab shingles. It seems to me that there is no benefit whatever in going with laminated shingles simply to have her garage roof look like simulated slate roofing. 3-Tab shingles have been around forever, everyone knows how to repair roofs with 3 tab shingles, and 30 year 3-Tab shingles will last as long and weather as well as 30 year laminated shingles. All we really care about is replacing the shingles, not trying to make the roof look like simulated anything.

I guess the other thing too is that I'm suffering from the Edsel-syndrome. I was led to believe that these laminated shingles were a completely new technology that's changing the industry completely and would quickly replace asphalt shingles as the roofing material of choice in a few years. Then, when I find out there really isn't that much of a change to speak of, my expectations are disappointed, and I start looking at these laminated shingles as more of a disappointment than anything else. Just like the Ford Edsel.

oldognewtrick 04-22-2010 01:33 PM

Nestor, the advantages of a laminate are they don't show wear as much as a 3-tab and are a little less prone to wind lift as they age.

DO NOT ALLOW EITHER TO BE INSTALLED ON A 6" RACK. Which means the 3rd course lines up to the end butt of the first course then the 4th course lines up to the end butts of the 2nd course, (installing the shingles in a zipper pattern). INSIST that the shingles be installed in a staircase pattern, trust me on this and tell the installer you will check that the nails are applied in between the seal strip and the top of the water valley on a 3-tab or if you use a laminate the nail line is between the seal strip and the top of the cut out for the laminate strip.

Nestor_Kelebay 04-22-2010 10:25 PM

I'll print off your post and have someone at RoofMart explain exactly what you mean.

Once I find out what a 6 inch rack and a stair case pattern is, I may be asking you to explain WHY I don't want the shingles installed on a 6" rack, but on a staircase pattern instead. That's because I don't know what either are, and if the guy at RoofMart doesn't know why your telling me that, then I'll be asking for your reasoning.

I am familiar with the nailing line for laminate shingles, as shown below. However, my understanding is that it's only critical to nail along that line if the shingle is going on a STEEPLY sloped roof, like a Mansard. That (mis?)understanding comes from reading this article:

Roofing Contractor Residential Asphalt Shingles NJ Pa DE

That article includes this drawing showing the nailing line for laminate shingles:


And I already knew how to nail 3-Tab shingles:

But, here in Winnipeg, they just use 4 nails per shingle, not the "storm nailing" pattern.

The article cited above basically says not to use laminated shingles on a steep slope and implies that the reason why is because the nails have to be driven through the double thickness section of the shingle, and that area is only 5/8 inches wide, and so missing that target zone can result in shingles literally falling off a steep roof.

However, I understood that article to suggest that it's not absolutely critical to nail through the target zone for non-steep roofs. I'm thinking if it were equally critical on roofs of shallower slope, then there'd be all kinds of problems and call backs on roofs with laminated shingles. Since all the roofing contractors at this end seem to be moving toward laminated shingles, the can't be having problems with laminated shingles. If they were, they'd discourage people from wanting them.

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