Home Improvement Articles

If your home was built prior to 2003, a roof leak could happen at any time!
No parent wants to wake up to their child crying, to find water and drywall raining down on their child's bed. Our expert roofing team helps you Protect your family, and your investment in your Forever Home. Hire one of the most reputable West Grove PA Roofing Contractors, to handle your Roof replacement, shingle roof repair, or mystery water leak problem.
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
West Grove PA Roofing Contractor

Is your shingle roof old, tired, and on the verge of leaking? 

Do you still have an old 3-tab style shingle covering your home?  Don't let onslaught of the relentless April showers damage your drywall ceilings! Hire our family owned & operated CopeBUILT team to put a new roof on your home before it's too late!
Our proprietary 6 step system ensures you'll be able to enjoy the peace of mind of having a new roof, without the concern of your Children and Pets stepping on nails left in the yard after the project is complete.

In this video, and the videos that follow on this page, we are going to give you a crash course in all things roofing.  This is your quintessential educational guide on everything you need to know about the roof replacement process.   It is our hope that the countless hours that went into recording, and editing these videos will inspire you to take full advantage of this free educational resource, and will serve to assist you in developing a detailed list of questions that you can use to quiz and interview a roofing contractor before you sign a contract and hire them to work on your home.  We're going to show the right way to address several of the more nuanced portions of a roof replacement job, so that you'll know what key words and phrases to listen for, as you screen roofers and evaluate who you may decide to hire to replace your shingle roof anywhere in America, and especially in our local community near Cochranville, PA.  Ready?  That's next on this edition of "Forever Home." Here we go! [snap]
Connect with our incredibly CLEAN & responsive team through FB Messenger on our CopeBUILT Company Facebook Page and request access to our homeowner education portal on roofing.

Call 484-748-7708 Today and lets get your virtual roofing estimate started. 

Discover the CopeBUILT difference! 

Our promise, is that when we're finished with your project you'll be proud to say, "it's not just done, it was CopeBUILT."   That means our team goes to extreme measures to evaluate your project and see how it impacts other parts of your home, and possible future improvements.   We're not just going to replace the shingles on your roof.  We want to look at the flashing details, at your attic insulation and ventilation and how that impacts your HVAC energy usage costs over time.   We take a very wholistic approach to home renovation and remodeling, helping you maintain, improve, and protect your Forever Home.    In this article, we're going to share with you just a small sampling of the high quality educational and informative content you'll find on our youtube channel.   While the content on this page is specific to roofing, we have over 20 different youtube playlists covering nearly every area of home renovation you might be considering here in Chester County, Pennsylvania.   We hope you find this helpful as you are working to choose a roofing contractor to repair or replace the roof on your Unionville, Chadds Ford, Kennett Square, West Grove, Landenberg, Oxford, Nottingham, Kirkwood, Cochranville, or Coatesville home.   Anyone can nail down a shingle, but it takes a certain level of diligence to both install that shingle correctly, and ensure that the other important factors that influence the life-span and longevity of those shingles, are fully evaluated and considered. 

Why do Shingles Blow off my Roof?

There are a number of reasons why shingles might blow off your roof.  It could be as simple as they are old, sun worn from the ultra-violet rays, dried out, and brittle, so they simply can't hold onto the nails any longer.   The adhesive can be tried out, and tired, allowing wind to get under the tabs.   Or, it could be a failed installation where the roofer didn't put enough nails in the shingle, or nailed it too high, missing the manufactures recommended nailing zone, cutting the number of the nails holding that shingle from 8 down to just 4, or from 12, down to just 6 nails.  In this video, the owner of Cope Construction and Renovation, Drew Cope, walks you through some of the common installation problems we've seen that can cause brand new roofs to fail the next time a heavy wind blows through. 


What steps does a good conscientious roofer take to protect your home?

In this video, Drew walks you through the complete setup process of our proprietary netting system.   We've heard too many stories of clients hiring "expensive" roofers they saw on TV or heard on the Radio, who then found over 400 nails left in their yard after the crew left.  This is simply unacceptable, and a black eye on the entire home improvement and roofing industry.   We know how important it is to clean up every nail possible, to protect your children and your pets, not to mention your lawn mower tires.   This system, is just one part of our commitment to leaving your yard clean, when the roof replacement is complete.


What is a Double Pass Magnetic Nail Sweep?

When our teams are finished with your roof, our dedicated exterior renovation experts will clean up all of the trash and debris, gather up the nets, and then do a magnetic nail sweep of your yard and driveway.  This typically involved a 24" wide magnet, capable of lifting 50 lbs, on a set of rollers, with a handle.  Our teams will work in a logical systematic pattern to ensure they cover every square inch of the work area around your home.   Once the work is finished, then a senior member of our field staff, or a member of our executive leadership team (often Drew Cope, the owner, himself) will follow up within 36 hours after our crews are done, and he will do a second full nail sweep of the yard, using his own magnet on wheels.  With this two pass approach, we've never had a complaint from a customer about nails left in the yard, after the job was complete.   So far, everyone has been proud to say, "It's not just done, it was CopeBUILT!"  In this roofing employee training video, Drew coaches our teams, and other contractors across the country, how to do a proper magnetic nail sweep. 

Why do some roofers want to inspect the attic before giving a roof replacement quote?

The short answer is because those diligent roofers want to ensure you get the full manufacture's stated life-span for your roof installation of 25, 30, 35 years or whatever the number is on the shingle they are installing for you.   National manufacture of attic ventilation products, Air Vent, conducted a study that showed an improperly vented attic can shorten the life of you shingles by as much as 25%.    On a 30 year shingle, you just stole 8 years of service from that roof.    ARMA (Asphalt Roofing Manufactures Association) and NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) along with every Shingle Warranty from every shingle manufacturer in America says that their warranty is directly tied to and contingent upon, proper attic ventilation, and that improper or inadequate ventilation will void the warranty.    There are three main types of attics in North America: 
(1) Vented Attics
(2) Unvented Attics (ovens)
(3) Conditioned Attics

Lets start with #3:  Homes built for High Efficiency, are starting to employ sealed attics or conditioned attics, where that square footage is brought into the conditioned space of the home.   If you have an attic mounted HVAC unit, this can help ensure that unit doesn't have to work as hard to overcome extreme temperature swings in the attic.   Generally speaking, builders of these high efficiency homes will include a secondary air channel above the thermal barrier in the roof structure of the attic, to allow air flow under the roof deck to cool the shingles. Of the homes we've worked in, here in Southern Chester County, Lincoln University, West Grove, Chadds Ford, Unionville, Kennett Square, Landenberg, we have never come across a conditioned attic in the last 12 years, but we talk about them in our Passive House Building Standards playlist on our YouTube Channel.

The unvented attics (#2) are just that: unvented.  They do not have enough ventilation to fight hot air, and moisture build up in the attic.   This can lead to condensation and ice-dams in the winter, and it will bake your shingles, causing premature failure in the summer.   Most homes built before 1995 used gable vents, that were too small and inadequate to be effective.  Nearly all of them have been good candidates for adding soffit ventilation for intake, and shingle over ridge vent for exhaust, which will extend the life of the roof by as much as 8 years.   No educated homeowner should ever hire a 'roofer' who doesn't inspect the attic, or at least discuss attic ventilation, as part of the quoting process.   This quick interview with an attic ventilation industry professional explains more.
In this follow up interview with Paul, we discuss some of the many failures we've found in the last 4 years, mostly tied to inadequate air intake for the attic, like this failure, in West Grove, PA.

One of the biggest mistakes we find in attics on roofing jobs in West Grove, PA...

...is homes that have mixed exhaust ventilation.    Perhaps the last roofer added a ridge vent, but never closed off the old gable wall vents.    Or the homeowner complained it was hot, and hired an electrician to add a power fan to the roof, right next to the ridge vent.  Both scenarios create "short circuits" where rather than pulling from the soffit vents at the bottom edge of the roof, the low pressure area left by the exhausting area, sucks in new intake air from the closest available source.   This could create a recirculation point, in the gables, and out the ridge, failing to pull fresh air from the lower corners of the roof.  Alternatively, the power fan may be pulling air IN through the ridge vent, creating a small recirculation loop, again, allowing hot air and moisture to remain stagnant at the bottom of the roof line.   This is a theme you'll hear from our team over and over and over again.   Do Not Mix Attic and Roof Ventilation types. 

Will insufficient ventilation really lead to ice-dams & condensation in my attic?

Yes, it will.  In this photo album, we share pictures and videos from a job in West Grove, PA.   Customer called us because they hired another, cheaper, roofing contractor to replace the shingle roof on their Chester County home.   While they were there, the roofer was replacing some water damaged plywood.   They offered to "add insulation"  to the attic while they had the damaged sheets up.   This should have been a clue.  We need to ask, "WHY is the plywood sheathing water damaged?"   If the roofer had known about ventilation, they could have drilled holes in the solid wood wood soffit from above, while they had the plywood up.   This did not occur.  Worse, when the insulation was put in, no baffles were installed, allowing the insulation to compress against the roof deck, sealing off what little airflow they had.   Less than 6 months after the roof was installed, they homeowner experienced water damage on their drywall ceilings as a combination of ice-damming and condensation build up.   After the roofer failed to take responsibility, the homeowner called a local remediation company to deal with the mold, and hired Cope Construction to open up all 4 soffits, punch in additional ventilation holes, seal the home penetrations into the attic, and reconfigure the insulation with proper baffles. Go through the album and watch the videos to learn more about how this tragedy could have been prevented by hiring a knowledgeable, diligent roofing contractor like Cope Construction and Renovation. 

Do I have enough insulation in my attic?

If you your attic has less than 12 inches of insulation, you are loosing your heat in the winter, and the warm summer air is radiating down into your living space, in competition with your air-conditioner.   We would be happy to give you a quote to add additional attic insulation to bring you up to the R30 to R42 of insulation in your attic.  We can also discuss sealing the top of your wall penetrations in the attic, especially if you notice a lot of dark staining at the edges where your carpets meet your baseboard.  This is a tell-tale sign that your conditioned air, is rising out through your walls and into your attic, wasting the money you spend to heat and cool your home.  

What does the Roof Replacement process look like from start to finish? 

In the following videos, we walk you through a roof replacement in the Kennett Square / Unionville area, from the initial storm damage where a tree branch broke off in the wind storm and punctured the roof, all the way through to the completion of the new roof installation with new soffits, rake-board capping, and gutters.  

Video 1 : Patching the Storm Damage


Video 2 : Exterior Tour and Delivery of Materials & ground prep.  Please note : This roof was replaced before we implemented our new netting protection system.


Video 3 : Ripping off the roof, loading into the roofing buggie, shingle over ridge vents

Video 4 : inspection of the top of the roof, and adding of sacrificial boots. 

We also explain why plumbing vent pipes are important and how the flashing keep your roof leak free by extending their life with a sacrificial boot.   It you'd like to learn more about why these pipes are important, we explain that in this video where a client had a failure of their plumbing vents.

The After Tour, and upgrading the soffits, and fascia before we installed the new gutters and downspouts that were damaged in the wind storm, making this maintenance free, so they wouldn't have to paint the wood any more.


Need a Roofing Contractor to handle storm damage repairs?

A huge tree branch came crashing down through the roof of this Lincoln University PA home in a recent massive wind storm, cracking a rafter, crushing part of the gable wall, puncturing the roof deck, and damaging the drywall inside the bedroom.  Our team rebuilt the framing, repaired the siding, installed a new shingle roof, and patched the drywall inside.  You can learn more about that repair in these 4 videos. 

Join us as we climb around the attic and get a sense for just how deep the damage goes.


 We've installed the new Raptor underlayment on this Lincoln University Roof, and while we're here adding insulation and patching drywall, the homeowner asked us to hang a ceiling fan as well. 


Our team is installing the shingles, using the high wind nailing pattern specified by the shingle manufacture,

This is a standard upgrade we include on all CopeBUILT roof replacements.   Its a simple measure that is very affordable, and can make a dramatic difference in your roof's ability to hold up to the next massive wind storm to blow through Southern Chester County, PA.


What is flashing, and why is it important to hire an experienced knowledgeable roof replacement contractor who can address this detail correctly?

The word flashing can refer to many areas of your home.  There is drip-cap head flashing over doors, windows, and freeze boards.   There are pipe collar flashings that shed rain water around plumbing penetrations in the roof.   We have kick-out flashings that ensure any water traveling down a roof-to-wall interface gets moved or kicked OUT from the wall, so that it cannot penetrate the wall assembly and damage the structural framing of the home.  Step-flashing works in conjunction with the water resistant barrier (like tyvek house wrap) behind the exterior cladding (like vinyl siding, cement board, or stucco) to move any water that gets behind the exterior cladding, safely back onto the roof deck where it can be directed into a gutter.   If any of these flashings are installed improperly, they will eventually leak, probably long after the roofer you hired went out of business, or moved away, so its important to ALWAYS ask for a certificate of insurance and verify its validity.   We talk about this more in-depth in Step 9 of Our Process.  Here are some videos that discuss critical flashing components.

What is a Kickout Flashing and Why does it matter?


What damage can be caused by improper flashings at roof to wall interfaces?


Why do dormers leak? It could be bad flashing, bad house wrap, or a tight corner post.


What is step flashing, and Head Flashing and how do they protect my Chadds Ford home?


What happens if the builder didn't install any house-wrap on the gable attic wall of my home?


50 Year Shingle? Buyer Beware of 'To-Good-To-Be-True' Marketing Promises.

Too many shingle manufacturers and desperate roofers near me claim to have "the best shingle" available.   But how much of that is marketing hype?  In this clip from one of his Tell-All-Videos, Roofing Insights influencer Dmitry Lipinskiy separates fact from fiction when it comes to shingle longevity and modern manufacturing.  Don't believe the hype! 
If you want to look at data, check out the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) and their independent research on various shingle manufacturer product lines and their ability to stand up to hail and wind damage. And they data in their reports to suggest that some brands that are better (and more expensive) than others.  However, its also important to keep in mind that a cheap shingle, installed correctly, will likely far outlast an expensive shingle, installed poorly.   If the nails are in the wrong place, or not perpendicular to the roof sheathing, or over driven and penetrated too deeply into the shingle, problems are GOING to occur.  If you live in a costal area, or plan to build a new home to extreme levels of durability and energy efficiency, check out their Fortified Home Building standards

Did your roofers, CUT CORNERS, when they installed your valley shingles?

Frankly, you'd better hope so!  Wait, what?   Drew diagnoses a roof leak and explains why its critical to cut the valley corners.  Water is relentless, and if your roofer gave it a horizontal path to travel, then its possible the next deluge we receive could result in water finding a way into your Forever Home.   Water can be pumped and pushed horizontally, until it finds a gap in the shingles or the underlayment that allows it to get into your attic space, and drip down onto your drywall ceilings.  Watch this video to learn more, and ask any roofing contractors you are interviewing to explain to you how they trim and finish a closed valley before you sign a contract with them. 
Here's another example from Jennersville Pennsylvania where a careless roofer was rushing at the end of the job, and ran his knife through the brand-new shingles, and failed to clip the corners in the valley as required by the shingle manufacturers installation instructions. 


Why do pipe collars and roof pipe flashing leak?

In this video from Kelton PA, Drew walks you through the process of carefully disassembling the shingle roof system, in order to remove the old leaking pipe collars, install a new one, and seal everything up as we put it back together.  Join us for a tour of the pipe collar replacement process.
As a standard practice on any new roofs we install, we always install sacrificial boots during our final inspection of our crew's work.   In this video, we did an inspection for a homeowner who did not realize that she had sacrificial boots, and we'll show you what a great job they did, in protecting the original pipe collars.  Here's why we highly recommend hiring Cope Construction to install sacrificial boots for you, as a preventive measure, before your Pipe Collars start leaking. 

Are your gutters & downspouts DESTROYING your Brand New Roof? 

BEFORE: Why we hard-pipe downspouts into gutters


AFTER: Why we hard-pipe downspouts into gutters


Are your downspouts destroying your roof?


Chronic Roof Leak Problems on Penns Manor Drive, in Kennett Square, PA


Do you have any reviews I can read? 

YES!  You can read what over 230 of your friends and neighbors have written about the Outstanding Customer Service Experience our team provides in the Five-Star reviews they have written.  You'll find over 170 Five Star reviews on Facebook and 60 more Raving Fans on Google maps...

How do I contact Cope Construction and Renovation?

If you are tired a contractors who take your call, but who never call you back, or who you always seem to get a voice mail box that is full, its time to experience the difference at CopeBUILT!   We have a dedicated office staff standing by to answer your call weekdays 9:30 AM to 2 PM eastern time.   You can also connect with our incredibly CLEAN & responsive team through FB Messenger on our CopeBUILT Company Facebook Page.
Call 484-748-7708 Today and lets get your virtual roofing estimate started.