Roofing 101

At Morrelli Roofing, we want our customers to make an educated, informed decision. Roofing 101 is designed to help you do just that! New manufacturing technologies have created shingles that are good enough to carry a lifetime warranty! But if your current roof suffers from poor ventilation which has lead to curling, cracking, or ice dams, or if the penetrations such as plumbing pipes, attic vents, or chimneys have caused leaks or put your home in disrepair we are here to help remedy the situation. We can also help with low slope issues or correct manufacturer defects. A properly constructed roof system will not only protect you and your valuables but will also validate your manufacturer's warranty. Read on for details on some of the most common roof problems and hover over the pictures for an "after" shot.

Poor Ventilation. Poor ventilation is the #1 cause of shingle failure and will almost always void your manufacturer's warranty. Excessive heat in the attic may cause curling, cracking, ice dams, discoloration, or degranulization of the shingles. Moisture in the attic can also cause the growth of mold and mildew, and can lead to poor air quality in the home. A good ventilation system may also save you up to 30% on your cooling costs. If your roof was not properly ventilated when it was installed, the ventilation problems need to be corrected before your new shingles are applied so that the new roof doesn't have the same problems. We can help you fix any ventilation problems you may have before we lay new shingles. Click here for more information from Air Vent. Click here for additional information from Morrelli Roofing.


Curling. Curling may be the result of a manufacturing defect, but in most cases it's a side effect of a poorly ventilated attic. Your shingles may be in otherwise good condition but the extreme heat that can build up in the attic space may cause the shingles to curl and lose their seal. Once this happens your shingles are less resistant to high winds. Soon thereafter you will be replacing them one at a time (or all at once).


Cracking. Sometimes shingles will crack. This is normally caused by age, harsh weather conditions, poor ventilation, or any combination of the three. Cracking is also quite common on roofs where new shingles were installed over the old ones. When your shingles start to crack, it's time to replace them. It's important to remove the damaged shingles before putting new ones down.


Ice Dams. Ice dams are a common result of a poorly ventilated and/or poorly insulated attic. Heat from inside the house rises into the attic causing the snow at the peak to melt and refreeze at the eves. The ice that builds up at the eves can actually work its way uphill under your shingles. When the ice melts you may see leaks. It can also cause wood rot on your trusses and your roof deck. Simply replacing your shingles will not fix this problem. When ice dams have formed, several components of the roofing system may require replacement or repair. We offer year-round roof repair, ice dam removal, and rooftop snow removal. Click here for more information.

Roof Penetrations. If your roof leaks, it's most likely from a poorly designed roof penetration. One of the greatest areas of concern when roofing a home is the delicate process involved with sealing around plumbing pipes, attic vents, chimneys, flu pipes, swamp coolers, bath vents, etc. Most homes, when being reroofed, will show signs of wood rot on the roof deck somewhere around one or more penetrations. If caution is not taken, this problem can repeat itself with your new roof. We are experienced at this delicate roof work and will make sure your roof penetrations are properly sealed. Remember, water infiltration leads to wood rot, wood rot leads to mold, mold leads to poor indoor air quality, and poor indoor air quality leads to health problems. An adequate ventilation system may provide a good counterbalance to this phenomenon but it can only delay the inevitable. Click here for more information.


Plumbing Pipes. If there's anything in common with every roof we inspect it's the cracked rubber seal around the plumbing pipes. They will dry out, turn brittle, and chip off leaving large holes in the pipe flashing. This, of course, may lead to water infiltration. In our experience even the cheapest shingles will outlive these pipe flashings. It's a good idea to check them every few years. They are easy to replace, especially in the summer months when your shingles are warm and pliable.


Attic Vents. Attic vents are considered a "necessary evil". On one hand your attic needs to be ventilated, and on the other the more roof penetrations you have the more likely you are to experience leaks. A properly installed attic vent may still leak if the right (or wrong) weather conditions are present. Wind driven rain and snow may still pass backwards through a vent leaving unwanted moisture in your attic. However if your attic ventilation system is installed properly with adequate intake ventilation it should take care of itself before causing a lasting problem. Ridge vents with an external baffle are a wise choice when considering a ventilation system upgrade. They run the length of your ridge providing optimal venting and the external baffle prevents water infiltration. However, not all home designs are suitable for this type of vent.


Chimneys. Chimneys are a common area for leaks because of their size. Any roof penetration over 24" perpendicular to the flow of water must have a "cricket" framed on the uphill side to divert the water around the penetration. Chimneys most often fit into this criteria. Flashing around a brick chimney can be tricky, too. Not only do you need to flash the shingles but you must also counter flash the brick. Over time, the mortar may wear away causing the brick to crumble and chip away, exposing the structure behind it. Often times an old, crumbling, brick chimney can be removed and replaced with a conventional flu pipe which is a cheaper fix and easier to seal.

Low Slopes. If your roof has a slope of less than 2" per foot you need to take special precautions especially in harsh Utah winters. If the correct roofing materials are not used, the roof will not properly drain and can actually collapse. At Morrelli Roofing we know how to build and repair these special roofs so you can protect your investment inside and out.

Manufacturer Defects. Manufacturer defects are rarely visible at the time of installation but can cause a variety of issues from discoloration to improper sealing. If your roof has been properly installed, you may be eligible for warranty work paid for by the manufacturer. We can help you apply for that warranty work.

Make an informed decision. If your roof has any of the symptoms described above, please contact us and we'll help you repair or replace your roof as necessary. In order to help you make an informed decision, please visit the following websites for assistance: Certainteed and Air Vent. We are proud to be one of relatively few Certainteed certified contractors in the state of Utah. We use Certainteed products because of their outstanding reputation for quality and customer service. You can also choose Morrelli Roofing with confidence knowing that we are constantly continuing our own education and using the latest and best products and techniques in the industry.

Lien Protection. We have found throughout our years in business that many homeowners have a fear of mechanics' liens. Nobody likes to get caught up in this mess. A mechanic's lien is a way for contractors or suppliers to ensure payment on a project. For many years it has been a one-sided process primarily benefitting the contractors and their suppliers. But in recent years the state of Utah has made some changes to level the playing field for homeowners. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of how the system works. Basically, anyone who provides materials or services to a residential property has rights to file a mechanic's lien on that property. Many people assume that paying their contractor in full protects them from liens. However, that is only 1/3 correct. In order to qualify for a "Certificate of Compliance" from the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) according to Section 38-11-108 of the Utah Code, a home owner must have three things: a written contract, a properly licensed contractor, and proof that the contractor was paid in full. In order for us to guarantee that you have a "Pleasant experience that lasts" we will provide you with all the information you need to protect yourself, your family, and your assets.

To verify a contractor's license and current workers compensation insurance go to DOPL's website: To learn more about mechanics' liens and the Utah State Lien Recovery Fund or to apply for a "certificate of compliance" go to

Contact Us. Congratulations! You have officially passed Roofing 101. We hope that this will help you make an educated, informed decision. Please contact us for a free estimate today!