By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
What services does J&K Roofing provide?
“I do re-roofs of homes and new roofs. We do a lot of snow and ice dam removal in the wintertime, and we clean gutters,” said Jim Dayotas, who has owned J&K Roofing in West Boylston since 2000.
J&K serves customers primarily in Shrewsbury, Northborough, Westborough, Grafton, Boylston and adjacent towns.
What different types of roofs are you installing?
“I’ve been doing more metal roofs lately. People like the fact that the snow slides right off the house with a metal roof. Metal is more expensive than a shingled roof but the snow is not a problem.
“Another popular roof alternative now is composite synthetic slate that looks exactly like slate, with a lifetime warranty. Snow also slides right off of it. It’s aesthetically pleasing and is a lot lighter than natural slate, so it doesn’t strain the rafters. It’s more expensive than shingles, but in the long run, you’re putting the roof on once. I’ve put it most often on older and historical homes. With the composite, you can get color ranges from black to greens to red slate, and it looks like the real thing but is less expensive to maintain,” Dayotas said.
What should people think about if they are considering solar panels?
“If I was going to have solar panels installed, I’d put a new roof on first unless the roof was very recently installed. I would hate to have a roof that is 10 to 15 years old, put solar panels on it, and four years down the road have to replace the roof. A lot of solar panel companies say they will remove the panels for free if you need to replace the roof, but how long have those companies been in business and will they be there five or 10 years down the road?”
What should people do about roof damage after a hailstorm?
“Stay away from the storm chasers, people who travel throughout the country. They try to make you think they are local, and they say they are saving you money by insisting on dealing with your insurance company directly. They also don’t understand the need for ice and water barrier in this area because they are used to doing roofs in Texas. I’ve done plenty of repairs where people had these storm chasers replace a roof and then they are gone.
”I believe most insurance allows up to two years to have the roof replaced. So if we have a severe hailstorm, the best thing is to hire a local roofer, even if he can’t get to it for a couple of months. You want someone who is really local and you can check their references. The roofing contractor will meet with the insurance adjustor to look over the roof together. The adjustor will decide how much roof needs to be replaced.”
What do you recommend for ice and water shield to prevent ice dam damage?
“The building code says two feet past any exterior wall. I use either six or nine feet of water barrier and also wrap any protrusion through the roof such as a skylight or vent pipe or chimney. The valleys of the roof also need to have ice and water barrier installed. The other key is to make sure there are adequate soffit and ridge vents for ventilation so the attic stays cold.”