Hiring Roofing Contractors for Maintenance, Repair or Replacement
The roofing system on the home is its most important asset. It is designed to protect the home against inclement weather, and the buildup of snow and ice. While many homeowners recognize the need to maintain their heating and cooling system, exterior paint and flooring materials, the roof system is often neglected until serious problems occur. This is usually the only time that homeowners consider hiring roofing contractors to inspect the roof and make recommendations for repair.
A leaky roof is more than an inconvenience to the household. It can cause significant damage to the interior and can allow for the growth of mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria. In addition, it can create serious safety hazards and potential structural failure. Water gaining access into the attic can destroy the insulation material and provide the perfect environment for mold growth, while diminishing the R-value in the ceiling. This will increase heating and cooling costs, and potential leaking through the ceiling drywall into the home.
Some homeowners recognize the advantage of a preventative roof maintenance program offered by roofing contractors. The program allows the contractor to inspect the roof both externally and internally, and look for any signs of damage, leaking or disrepair. In detail, the contractor can perform a variety of duties that include:
Inspect Roof Components – Roofing contractors can thoroughly inspect every roof system component annually, or twice every year – depending on its condition, use and age. This includes an inspection of flashing, edging, stack and pipe flashing, coating/surfacing condition, fasteners, seams and caulking.
Perform Roof Repairs – Once the roof has been inspected, all minor repairs can be made to avoid any serious major issue. Proper roof repairs include using the best materials performed by a certified technician to ensure that all maintenance repairs are done correctly.
The money spent on preventative maintenance every year can save the homeowner exponentially by avoiding any expensive problems in the future. The minimal amount of cost, per square foot, is a small price to pay for avoiding any unnecessary expense associated with severe leaks or damages to the roof.
A Monthly Inspection
It is important that homeowners take a thorough look of the entire roof from the ground, especially after high winds or a torrential downpour. If shingles are missing, it will be necessary to have each one replaced immediately. In addition, the homeowner should perform a visual inspection from the ground of all flashing, valleys and dormers. If possible, check the interior of the attic to look for any signs of leaking.
Any buildup of leaves on a flat roof or a roof with the low slope has the potential of trapping and holding water. This standing water might eventually work down through the roof deck and into the interior of the home. Because of that, it is essential to have leaves cleared away from any trapped area.
An Aging Roof
If the homeowner notices any tiny ceramic granules flowing out of the eave trough and downspout, it is usually an indicator of an aging roof. While minimal amounts of granules are typically over time, and during weather changes, lots of granules usually indicates that the shingles are wearing away. Once the asphalt is exposed because of the granules releasing from its surface, the entire shingle can become vulnerable to the outside elements. When this happens, the aging roof needs to be replaced right away by licensed roofing contractors.
Changing the Roof
While a homeowner might believe that a roof can only be replaced during the summertime when the weather is clear, roofing contractors can perform the job year-round. This is important because the roof needs to be changed as soon as possible, to avoid any future flooding or exposure to water to the interior of the home.
In fact, the entire process of replacing an existing roof usually takes no more than 3 to 4 days. The roofing contractor will remove the existing material, and make any necessary repairs to the roofing system including replacing wood in rotted and damaged areas. They will then apply the roofing material, flashing, and caulking to ensure that the new roofing system will adequately protect the home for decades.
Roofing contractors offer a variety of services that include maintenance, repairs and complete replacement when necessary.
The Benefit of Hiring Roofing Contractors
Your roof is one of the most essential components of the house and is designed to provide protection against outside elements including rain and snow. Skilled roofing contractors can inspect the roofing system’s current condition and offer advice and expert recommendations on how it can be maintained or repaired.
The lifespan of most roofing material is generally 15 to 20 years. However, numerous factors could shorten the material’s longevity, including poor maintenance, improper repairs, and damaging environmental forces such as heavy snow and/or wind.
Neglecting the roofing system might potentially cause serious roofing problems that could end up costing the homeowner thousands to repair or replace. Alternatively, proper routine maintenance provides the contractor access to detect any potential issues including leaks, missing shingles or other damage.
Quick repair can safeguard the interior of the home. Roofing companies offer a variety of services including routine maintenance and annual inspections to ensure that the longevity of the roof is extended.
It is not at all uncommon that a roof can easily become damaged after a major storm, heavy winds, or long winter. Even if the homeowner cannot afford roof repairs, waiting could cause significant issues that could require a complete roof replacement. The longer the roof goes without repair can cause other significant problems including leaks that can generate mold on the interior of the house or attic.
Reputable roofing contractors offer full-service repairs and replacement and will guarantee their work performance. Proper repairs made by certified roofing specialists guarantee the warranty of all the materials used.
Replacing the roof is a complex job best left to roofing contractors. Aside from working in dangerous heights, many roof replacements require extensive reconstruction of the roofing system in the areas that have suffered damage caused by water and high winds.
An experienced roofing contractor can assess the roof’s existing condition to determine if a replacement is necessary. Just because the home experiences missing or damaged shingles, shakes or tiles, in no way indicates that an immediate replacement is necessary.
Unfortunately, many existing roofs in need of a replacement are the result of an improper selection of materials in the past. Harsh climatic conditions, including intense heat and cold, can quickly shorten the lifespan of inferior materials. Because of that, roofing contractors often recommend better quality products during the replacement process, even though it comes with a higher price tag. This will provide the homeowner decades of worry-free protection across the roofline of the home.
Hiring a Contractor
It is usually a good idea to obtain two or three bids (estimates) for a re-roof project. If the replacement roof is covered by insurance, the homeowner’s insurance company might offer recommendations of preferred contractors in the area. Remember that certain roofing materials will require different skills by contractors that specialize in that material including metal roofs, shakes and flat roof systems.
The estimate from every potential candidate for replacing the roof should contain the same information. This will help the homeowner better understand the charges involved, and the costs from each contractor. Each bid should include:
- The dimensional size (squares) of all material being removed and replaced
- The type of roofing material used, including all underlayment products and accessories
- A building permit, if required
- A contractor’s license
- A liability insurance policy
- Current workers’ compensation for all employees on the job
- Tear off and disposal costs for all discarded roofing material
- Detail procedures for protecting property and shrubs during installation
- Details of new trim and flashing when required
- Detail procedures of cleanup after roof installation completion
Generally, the process of repairing a faulty or old roof should be started as quickly as possible. This is because any more excessive water leaking into the home could cause significant damage that could cost thousands to repair.
Once a roofing contractor has been chosen, the crew can begin the process of installation. The old shingles on the house will be removed, and any major or minor repair will be made to strengthen the roof’s durability before installation.
All substrate material will be laid down, roofing material will be installed, and all flashing is then applied to fully protect the roofing system. Using experienced professional roofing contractors will ensure that the job is done correctly.
The Truth: What You Should Know About Hiring Roofing Contractors
While there are many professional roofing contractors out there, there are some that do a poor job or disappear with your money altogether. The Internet is filled with horror stories about roofing contractors, so instead of adding to the growing number of scary tales, stay ahead of the game. Before you even think to hire a contractor for your roof repair job, take a deep breath and consider what you should be looking for.
It may seem shocking to you, but there are plenty of people out there who just take a chance and hire the first roofing contractor they find online. One of the most important things you should be thinking about when hiring a contractor is whether or not he is licensed and insured in your state. You really cannot take chances when it comes to insurance, and you certainly shouldn’t want someone up on your roof who isn’t even licensed properly.
Most professional roofing contractors will be registered with the State Board of Roofing Contractors. When you do find a contractor that seems to be appealing, make sure he isn’t too good to be true. Ask for his license number as well as insurance information. These are all things you can and should verify for authenticity.
It is important that you ask the right questions when you call the contractor’s insurance carrier. Ensure that he not only has liability insurance, but should also have worker’s compensation insurance. Be honest with your contractor and let him know that you will be verifying this information because most will not have a problem with this.
Before your contractor should begin any work on your roof, it is important that you discuss the terms of the agreement. Is there a warranty offered on his work? If so, does it also include a manufacturer’s warranty? Whether or not these are included in his work, it should be mentioned somewhere in your agreement. Never sign unless you have both worked out every detail and you agree to the terms laid out before you.
The contract should always be written down on paper. Never trust a roofing contractor who gives you a verbal agreement and expects you to pay based on trust. Companies may sometimes require a 20 percent down payment for the work, but oftentimes, well established contractors won’t even require you to pay anything until after your roof is fixed. Never pay in cash, always pay with a check!
Before you sign off on anything, ask how the work crew will start the repair process on your roof. They should be professional enough to cover the work area with a tarp in case of nasty weather. It is also recommended that you make sure they don’t remove more of the roof than they can complete in one sitting.
Get ready for any emergencies that may arise during the roofing process. Sometimes, the wood may be rotting and may need replacing. It is important that you know before the fact of how much you’re expected to pay. There are some rotten businessmen who will only tell you about these problems after they have disassembled most of your roof.
It is important that for your roofing project, your contractor replaces the flashing and the vent flanges with new ones. It is advised that these are replaced, regardless of the condition the original ones are in.
Make sure the contractor will clean up his own messes. In most cases, the contractor will rent a dumpster to dispose of old roofing materials and other debris. Inquire about this before signing off on the contract and also ask the contractor to explain how he will ensure your yard won’t be littered with old nails from your roof.
Any extra questions you may have should always be addressed in your agreement. Never sign a contract with a roofing contractor unless you agree to the terms and are willing to pay the quoted amount. Never leave anything open to interpretation and don’t let the contractor intimidate you into paying more than the quoted price. If you keep in mind the simple advice from this article, you can ensure that you find a professional who can repair your roof on a budget.
Why You Should Hire Roofing Contractors And Not D-I-Y It
As homeowners (or even as business owners), we may often find ourselves in the position to feel like we can accomplish anything with the right tools and a few how-to tutorials. Unfortunately, we often forget that what residential or commercial roofing contractors often make look easy, in fact took years of experience to achieve. There are some home improvement projects that you can easily do yourself with little experience or knowledge, but your roof is a barrier between you and Mother Nature. You shouldn’t play with the foundation of your home, so below is a list of good reasons why you shouldn’t take a do-it-yourself approach to fixing your roof.
- Working up on a roof can be dangerous work. If you’re not fit or have never even been up on your roof, you could easily lose your balance and fall off. Your safety is not something you should take chances with, regardless of how much money you really think you can save. If you end up in the hospital, it certainly will cost more than choosing one of the many roofing contractors.
- You may not be purchasing the proper supplies for your roof. You really don’t know much about roofing to begin with, but when you head off to Home Depot or Lowe’s to purchase random supplies, it could be a recipe for disaster. Professionals know the ins and outs of certain brands, understand the manufacturer’s warranty and know what to look for in materials that fit your particular roof.
- Apart from the bare minimum roofing supplies, you will need to purchase other accessories such as a tall enough ladder to reach your roof. When you really start to add up the costs, you may find that hiring a contractor could’ve saved you money, but it’s now too late. Most people find the upfront costs of paying a contractor to be crippling, but when you really add up all the little things you have to buy in order to get started on your roof, you could end up spending more with the d-i-y approach.
- You really don’t know what you’re doing. You can certainly argue that you have found some really great how-to tutorials online, but at the end of the day, you just don’t have the experience. Keep in mind, the people showing you how to do things online have years of experience and can make things look obvious or way easier than they really are.
- You can make a mess of things before you even realize. If you start working with the shingles and later realize you messed up, you could be adding more out of pocket costs to an already expensive roof. It is important that you don’t assume things about your roof and you don’t just start hammering away like a madman.
- You really don’t know what is under your shingles. If there is any damage under your shingles, it could be a sign of something else that could be wrong with your roof. However, this is not something that you can or should diagnose yourself. It is much easier to just hire one of the many great roofing contractors available.
- It is advisable to get your roof repaired as quickly as possible. However, when you choose to do-it-yourself, you don’t know how long it’s going to take. What you may have estimated as a three day job, may end up taking you over a week. If you have someplace to be or have to go to work, you won’t have time to figure out how to repair your roof properly. It is safer to hire professionals because they can get it done quickly and efficiently.
- Professionals only use the best materials available and will usually offer a warranty on their work. This means, that if you’re not satisfied with how your roof looks, you have someone to complain to. This isn’t something you would be able to do with your own work.
It is important that you use caution when it comes to some of the home repair projects out there. Repairing your roof isn’t something that you should attempt to do on your own. Hopefully, this article has helped convince you that professional repair work is the way to go.