Charleston Roofing: Article About Do Roofs Require Tar Paper?
A common practice among many Charleston roofing companies is to forgo replacing tar paper when performing a roofing job. Some contractors claim tar paper isn't necessary for a number of reasons. The truth is that any time all layers of shingles are removed, it is a good idea to completely tear off and replace the tar paper as well.
Once shingles are removed, the roofing felt underneath will contain nail holes that can let water seep underneath. As such, this layer of protection is no longer as effective as it once was. If water happens to get underneath the shingles, it can get into these nail holes and cause further damage.
Another reason for removing tar paper is because it allows contractors to inspect the roof's decking. The decking normally consists of plywood and lies directly underneath the shingles. If the decking is damaged, it will need to be replaced at the same time the roof is installed. Without physically looking at this surface, it is impossible to tell if it is rotted or decayed. As a result, the new roof may leak only a short time after installation.
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Some contractors will claim that the existing tar paper is thicker or of a heavier grade than what they were currently using. They may tell homeowners that they are better off keeping what is already in place because it is better quality. The fact is that tar paper wears over time just as shingles do. This means that even if it was a heavier grade initially, it has likely deteriorated some and is therefore not as effective as it was when brand new.
It's also quite common for contractors to place new tar paper over top of old to reduce the amount of labor cost. In doing so, they may tell homeowners that they are actually doing them a favor by providing them with an additional layer of protection. An extra layer of roofing felt will provide additional protection without resulting in too much weight being on the surface. Even so, homeowners who go this route should ensure their decking is carefully inspected for weak spots since performing a physical inspection will not be necessary.
Adding new tar paper is recommended unless the existing layer of shingles is being covered over. Trying to save money by reusing tar paper will likely result in a new roof that has a somewhat shorter lifespan than what was anticipated.