New England winters can be brutal, and the winter months of 2014-15 were ones for the record books. Roofs throughout New England suffered extensive damage from the crushing weight of snow and ice accumulation, including the nearly 7,000-square-foot Waterford, Conn., waterfront estate owned by John Antonino.
Gerald Stefanelii, a local Waterford contractor and custom homebuilder experienced with Cape Cod architecture, built the Antonino home 15 years ago. The family wanted its residence to be nestled in a prime waterfront location and selected a build site on the bank of the 5-mile-long Niantic River in Waterford, about 10 miles west of the historic seaport and iconic village of Old Mystic. Although the average snowfall in this area is 24 inches, the blizzard of 2015 brought more than 30 inches in a single storm, and prolonged periods of record-cold temperatures kept the accumulation from thawing. As a result of this weather, the intricately fashioned architectural-shingle roof on the Antonino home became delaminated, and ice damming led to serious damage inside of the home, as well.
When Mr. Antonino—whom I have done business with in the past—contacted my company, Advanced Improvements LLC, Mystic, Conn., for an initial consultation, it was agreed that a new roof had to be able to withstand more winters like the one experienced the previous year. Following a thorough assessment of the damage and an in-depth calculation for a bill of materials by my sales and design team, we discussed our recommendations with Antonino.
For a roof of this size and a home of this value—roughly $1.7 million—we knew we needed a very durable, reliable and proven combination of products to ensure a prolonged service life of maximum resistance to harsh weather. This was to be Antonino’s first reroofing experience and, though he suggested a product line to us, we strongly recommended another line of products that we knew were more fitting for the specific needs of his home, including seaside and winter weather, as well as other environmental factors. He agreed, and the project was underway.
A Focus on Every Shingle
We brought in Don Carlson, a territory representative for the line of products we suggested. No matter which manufacturer a contractor uses, it is critical to have a solid rapport and ongoing interactive relationship with hands-on, factory-trained field personnel. Carlson has been a valued and knowledgeable resource to my company over the years. Whether my clients need to quickly see a sample or my team has installation or warranty questions, he has been there each and every time.
We estimated installation of the new roof system would call for a crew of 11 team members under my direct supervision. Because of my long-standing relationship with Antonino and his companies, I wanted to be hands-on with this important job. The bill of materials called for 95 squares of asphalt shingles and 10 rolls of underlayment. A dual-layer, laminated fiberglass shingle was chosen because of its high amount of weathering asphalt. The laminated fiberglass construction also keeps the shingles virtually impervious to deterioration and leakage. Add in a warranty and designer look that includes a multi-dimensional color (Weathered Wood was chosen) and you have a roof worthy of such a grand residence.
After obtaining the proper permit with the local municipality, our work began. Permits are a given, but my team and I have also found it very important to earn and maintain all the major manufacturer certifications possible. It is important that our clients see that Advanced Improvement’s craftsmen are fully factory trained, and we proudly display credentials and certifications from various manufacturers in our offices.
We began roofing work by stripping the roof, cleaning up debris and making all necessary structural repairs (the sheathing was not replaced). Ice and water barriers were put into place on the bottom of the eaves, around the roof, and on the valleys and sidewalls. We applied a synthetic polymer-based scrim-reinforced underlayment, designed for use on roof decks, as a water-resistant layer beneath the asphalt roofing shingles. Next, F5 aluminum drip-edge was installed followed by the shingles. Finally, the ridge vents and caps went on to provide proper ventilation.
As with any job we do, the welfare of the people around the site and my personnel is paramount. The crew, keeping with OSHA requirements, used proper fall-protection equipment. Also, because of the home’s layout and complex roof angles, tarps were laid on top of plywood from the edge of the roof, extending 12 feet to prevent debris from falling around the property.
Antonino turned to my company because he had faith he would get the fairest price for the finest work with the job being completed on time and on budget. When I asked for his feedback, he provided comments that would make any contractor proud: “Advanced Improvements not only did a fantastic reroofing job, they were extremely respectful of my property,” Antonino said. “The cleanup was as thorough as the roofing job itself. Also, they actually finished ahead of schedule.” The job was completed in less than one week.
As you’re reading this article, New England’s autumn palette is giving way to blankets of white. That snow and ice will lay on the new roof at the Antonino residence. It’s highly unlikely that it will do anything but rest there until melted away. The new roof will protect the family from the elements 24/7, 365 for many, many years to come.