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Shingle all the way

By Staff | Oct 7, 2018

This is just one of close to 500 houses that have had their shingles repaired over the summer after a large hail storm struck the area, causing damage to many roofs in Blue Earth. This is about twice as many building permits that the city sees in a normal year. Is your roof ready for winter or the next big storm?

One project homeowners sometimes consider doing in the fall, before winter strikes, is getting a new roof.

Usually that involves stripping off the old shingles and putting on new ones. Other times it can be a steel roof, or some other material.

In Blue Earth this fall (and late summer), the sounds of old shingles being torn off and new ones power hammered into place has been common thanks to a hail storm that tore a 3-mile wide by 10 mile long path of destruction that crossed over the city.

“In a normal year, we get about 120 building permits,” says city administrator Tim Ibisch. “This year, to date we already have well over 500 permits issued. And, 450 of those are for roofing jobs.”

Ibisch says that putting on new shingles or other roofing material is one of those things that require a building permit. In Blue Earth, the cost of the permit is $42.

“If you have a contractor that payment is usually made by the contractor, and is included in the bid and covered by the homeowner’s insurance,” Ibisch says. “But even do-it-yourselfers or someone hiring a friend or relative to do the work, needs to get a building permit.”

The city administrator says a large part of the fee goes to the state, and some of the rest covers the cost of having the city’s building inspector come and make sure the job is being done correctly.

There have been more than 20 contractors, mainly from out of the area, descending on the city of Blue Earth going around getting the roofing jobs.

“We have not had a lot of complaints,” Ibisch says. “Less than one percent I would guess. Some are legitimate complaints and some are just people not happy with the way it turned out and looks.”

The amount of roof shingling going on has meant an increase in business at Lampert Lumber in Blue Earth, but not as much as you might think. Only two of the out-of-area roofers are getting all their materials locally, Nu-Life and Renner Roofing. Other companies have used the local supplier on occasion as well.

All shingles these days are pretty high quality, no matter where they come from says Troy Stindtman, Lampert’s general manager.

“There are only four to six companies that make the most common types of asphalt shingles,” Stindtman says. “We mainly deal with the top three, which are Owens-Corning, GAFF and Certainteed, but we can get in any kind of shingles made.”

Shingles come in a variety of colors, as residents of Blue Earth have found out as they decide whether to stick with the same color or a different one.

“We stock eight of the most popular colors, but again, we can order in any color someone wants,” Stindtman says.

Shingles used to come in different weight ratings and that was a big factor, but not so much anymore.

And, there used to be the rating of years they would last, like 30-, 40, or 50-year rating, but that is not used so much anymore either.

Most shingles here have a Class 4, Impact 4 rating, which determines what size hail they can handle without damage.

“There is stone-coated shingle available, but it is over twice or more the cost of a regular shingles and we don’t see many of those around,” Stindtman says. “Most shingles here are pretty standard.”

Something else that has improved over the years is the felt backing under the shingles.

“Most roofers are using the synthetic felt, which is much better than the old tarpaper backed felt,” Stindtman says. “It is a high performance underlayment.”

And, of course, roofers put down the ice and water shield on the lower end of the roofs as a base and also on the roof valleys.

Stindtman says having hail damaged roofs replaced in this area is not uncommon.

“Three, four years ago the north end of town (Blue Earth) was hit by hail, but not to this extent,” he says. “And Winnebago had it bad in 2012 or 2013, over a good-sized area.

But, this is the worst amount of hail damage to roofs in Blue Earth that he can recall from his many years of being here.

“These roofs getting shingled should last for many, many years,” Stindtman says. “These are really good materials being used in shingles now.”

The shingling work has been continuing this fall, in between rain showers, that is. But, Stindtman says the roofing season will probably come to a close by the end of October.

And then, start back up again in the spring if there are homes that did not get done this fall.