You’re a homeowner and determined your home’s roof needs fixing or needs to be improved with a replacement roof. You’re all set to get moving. What’s the optimal way to get a high quality roofer who will accomplish a good job? What could you look for in a roof contractor or contractor to obtain this work? Eaton
When homeowners choose to repair a roof or replace that roof with asphalt during the cold winter months, they’re often plagued by worries that their family will freeze before the job is completed. In the same vein, those starting a roofing job in the sweltering summer months worry that they’ll be facing heat stroke. These concerns are perfectly normal and common among many homeowners looking for roofing fixes or roof replacement contractors.
EatonYou've decided you need a new roof. Several contractors have given you estimates. How do you know which is right for you? It is important to understand exactly what the contractor is proposing when making a decision on your roof replacement. There are usually several products/services included on most re-roofing quotes.SHINGLESThe primary item on a roof replacement estimate is the actual roofing material. The estimate will list the manufacturer and type of shingles the contractor intends to use. It will also show the style of shingle. Architectural or dimensional shingles are the most popular. They create more interest and often mimic the look of other roofing materials such as slate or tile. It may include color choice or options if design was part of the initial discussion. The estimate will also indicate the length of the manufacturer's warranty for that type.FLASHINGIf your roof has chimneys, dormers, and walls, then you will see flashing on your estimate. Flashing prevents water from seeping behind and under shingles, causing water damage to the structure.Flashing is usually thin sheets of aluminum or galvanized steel. Many professional roofers will fashion their own from sheet metal. Flashing is installed over joints in the roof & wall construction. Possible areas are valleys, chimneys, dormers, windows, pipes, skylights, porches, decks and edges.New flashing is often installed with a new roof. If flashing deteriorates or comes loose it can cause severe damage to your home. It is important to make sure it is installed properly to avoid unnecessary damage.UNDERLAYMENTOne item that should be included on every roof replacement estimate is underlayment. Underlayment is a layer of protective material between the roof deck or plywood and the shingles. Often called felt paper, it is the first layer of waterproofing for your roof.Manufacturers reinforce the underlayment with fiberglass to strengthen and resist tearing, make installation easier and improve its waterproofing effectiveness.Manufacturers are constantly developing new underlayment technology. Newer synthetic underlayment further increases the effectiveness, ease & safety to install and increases longevity. Some manufacturers have developed organic and green underlayment products.It is usually recommended to use underlayment from the same manufacturer as your shingles as they are designed to work together. It may be required for a valid warranty.A contractor will choose the best type of underlayment for your roof replacement based on the type of roof and climate in which you live. If you have any questions regarding their choice, they are the best resource for your specific project. DRIP EDGEDrip edge is another important and sometimes overlooked part of a roofing or re-roofing job. Even though manufacturers recommend it, and some require it for a valid warranty, some contractors do not include drip edge on their estimates.Drip edge is metal strips applied along gutter lines, eaves and some rakes. It stops water from getting under the shingles and damaging the deck plywood and protects fascia. Properly applied drip edge will lengthen the life of the roof and further protect the home from water damage.Drip edge is not expensive to include in a roof replacement project and the benefits greatly out way the cost.ICE & WATER SHIELDThe purpose of a roof is to protect the home from the elements; wind, rain, ice, etc. In most climates, ice and/or water are a concern you can't ignore.Ice and water protection should be discussed for almost every residential roofing project and will likely appear on your estimate. Ice and water barriers allow proper water flow preventing damage caused by high wind and rain storms and ice build-up known as ice dams. It strongly adheres to the plywood roof deck providing a second line of defense to the underlayment. The barrier is applied to the most vulnerable parts of the roof. Depending on the type of roof this could be the valleys, eaves and rakes, or the entire deck surface. Contractors may also suggest applying it around chimneys and other areas where leaks are likely to occur.VALLEYSA valley is the angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes to provide water runoff. Because of the amount of water passing through that area of a roof, it is important to consider how the area will be protected when replacing an asphalt shingle roof.There are different methods for shingling the area with dimensional asphalt roofing material. Closed cut valleys are most popular aesthetically. In a closed cut valley application, shingles from one side of the valley extend across the valley while shingles from the other side are trimmed back a few inches from the valley centerline. Any flashing is not exposed. When using the open cut valley roofing method the flashing is visible. Open cut valleys may be used to create visual interest or enhance features on some design styles.Some contractors will use ice and water shield under the shingles, others will choose to install metal flashing. Further, some contractors will install both for extra protection. A professional roofing contractor will consider many factors and make a recommendation as to the best method and style for the specific project. A detailed estimate will include these recommendations.RIDGE VENTAll roofs need to be vented to allow moisture to escape and prevent damage to the roof and the entire home. There are several types of roof ventilation systems. The most popular are ridge vents. They are installed along the ridge or peak of the roof and allow hot air to escape and draw cool air in the soffit vents.A detailed roof replacement estimate will include which type and style of vent is going to be installed. Ridge vents come in several styles to match the home, shingle design, and homeowner's preference as to how much they stand out or blend in with the rest of the new roof.CHIMNEY CRICKETIf the home has a chimney, a professional roofing contractor may recommend installing a cricket if there isn't one already. A cricket is a peaked construction at the back of a chimney to help prevent snow and ice build-up and to deflect water around the chimney.PIPES AND FANSPipes and fans on the roof should be addressed in the estimate. These are vents that allow air to escape the home from the attic, bathroom, or other household needs. A contractor will indicate how they will treat these during the project. Will they keep the same ones, replace with new pipes or recommend a different type of ventilation or fan.GUTTERSWhen replacing a roof, it is a good time to consider replacing gutters as well. Either on your request or their recommendation, an option for gutter replacement may appear on the estimate. It may specify the length in feet, type of material, the type of construction (seamless, sectional), the size or width in inches and the size of the downspouts that will be used. Gutter estimates may include leaf protection, which is a covering that allows water to flow and keeps leaves and other debris from causing clogs in the gutter and downspouts.SOFFIT & FASCIAOften replacing soffit and fascia will be recommended.Fascia - Connects the roof to the soffit, where gutters are attached.Soffit - Covers the underside of the roof overhang.Both of these play a large part in protecting the structure of the home.PLYWOOD & SHEATHINGUnder all the underlayment, ice & water shield and shingle material is the decking. This is the wood that makes the solid structure of the rooftop. During a roof replacement project, it may be discovered that some of this decking has been damaged and needs to be replaced. A roofing contractor may indicate this expense in different ways. If they see obvious damage they will note that in the estimate and the type of material that will be used. This could be plywood, Luan or other coverings. However, sometimes this damage is hidden until the replacement project has begun. Some contractors will also include the additional costs that may be incurred if a problem is found. WARRANTIESMost roof replacement estimates will mention warranties and guarantees with limitations and for a specific number of years.Manufacturers' warranties usually offer coverage when there is a defect in the roofing material that causes leaks under normal conditions. A manufacturer's coverage will typically cover the cost of replacing the materials, not the labor to do so. They also do not cover replacing the entire roof, just repairing or replacing the defective areas.Manufacturers' warranties often exclude damage due to pre-existing conditions of the roof. If the shingles were installed improperly or the roof structure and gutter design was faulty, coverage may be denied. Many warranties are prorated, meaning the longer the roof is on your home the less coverage you have.Manufacturers may recognize quality professionals that they trust. These contractors may be able to offer additional or extended manufacturers' warranties.Be sure to understand the coverage and limitations of a manufacturer's warranty before using it to make your roofing decisions.While a good warranty to cover defects is important, choosing your roofing contractor is as much so.Manufacturers' warranties do not cover problems arising from installation. This is where a workmanship guarantee comes in.A workmanship guarantee is offered by the contractor and covers all defects related to installation work only. A qualified contractor will know what type of material to use on your roof and how to install it properly, reducing the possibility of roof leakage. Your contractor will also recognize potential problems such as structure, drainage and ventilation issues and address those ahead of time so they won't damage your new shingles in the future. A reputable contractor will offer a labor warranty to cover any issues that may arise for additional peace of mind.When considering your new roof investment, be sure to look at the coverage warranties offer and especially the quality and knowledge of the company installing them.CHOOSING YOUR CONTRACTORAfter reading and understanding the estimates, it is time to make a decision as to who will do the work. Make sure to check out each contractor's qualifications and experience. Online reviews are an excellent source of information.
Need a Roof Estimate? Where to Find a Good RooferAccording to East Tennessee SKYWARN, "Hail is a form of precipitation that occurs at the beginning of thunderstorms. They consist of near spherical pellets of ice and snow, usually combined in alternating layers."By this definition alone, you can already imagine what potential damage hail can do to your home, specifically your roof. And, if hail can damage your roof, just think how it can damage your vehicle. In fact, big hailstones that fall with force have been known to cause fatal harm to humans and animals.Scientists have been trying to reduce the destructiveness of hail by injecting large quantities of silver iodide into a thunderstorm. They are trying to overseed storm clouds so that smaller hailstones will form. This will prevent them from developing into large hailstones. But as of this date, results remain inconclusive.What damage can hail do to your roof? Hail damage on vehicles can easily be seen but the damage that hail does to your roof will not be as obvious. Hail damage results in a random pattern of strike marks in different sizes. You may find dents, cracks or bare asphalt (if you have asphalt shingles on your roof). Additional signs of hail damage to an asphalt roof could be: granules that have settled at the base of your downspouts, metal air vents that have significant damage and damaged and dented siding or gutters.Generally, hail has to be at least 1 and 1/4 inches in diameter before it can cause damage to wood shake shingles or heavy composite shingles. Hail that is 1 inch in diameter may damage lightweight composite shingles. However, if you have deteriorated composite shingles on your roof, hail that is less than 1 inch in diameter can easily cause damage. What do I do if my roof has been damaged by hail? Most hailstorm damages are cosmetic and won't have any adverse effects on your roof. However, moderately severe hail damage that strips shingle of their coatings may affect the longevity of your roof and this may qualify for repairs covered by your insurance. If the damage will cause leaks, exposed areas should be covered with tarps held in place with wood strips and nails. When you can access the roof, you should permanently repair the sheathing and replace missing and damaged tiles, shingles or shakes.Are there available hail-proof roofs in the market? There are hail-resistant roofs but to this day, you cannot find any hail-proof roofs in the market. These hail-resistant roofs have Class 1 through Class 4 hail-resistance ratings, 1 being the lowest and 4 the highest. These roofs are rated based on test results done by The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). A steel ball is dropped from a predetermined height and the damage that the roof sustains is then measured.There are several roofs that carry this rating but the most likely to endure hail with minimal or no damage would be concrete tile, composite shingles and metal roofs. When you purchase a roof be sure to check with the manufacturer to determine what hail rating is given to a particular product.What damage can hail do to your vehicle? If hail can damage your roof, then an exposed vehicle can sustain much damage. Dents will most likely be the most common problem. If your vehicle will be exposed to large hailstones however, there is a probability that you might end up with broken windows and/or a broken windshield. The good news is, with your vehicle, you can take preventive measures so that it will not be damaged by hail.What can you do to prevent your vehicle from being damaged by hail? When hail is in the weather forecast, put your car, boat or RV into a garage. If you have no choice but to leave your vehicle outside, cover parts of the vehicle that is most susceptible to hail damage, with thick blankets. These would be the roof, hood, trunk, windows and windshield.In cases where you are suddenly caught in the middle of a hailstorm while driving your car, seek cover in a covered parking lot or garage. Another option would be to go under an overpass or any place with an awning. If you are on a long stretch of road with no cover in sight, pull off the highway, park at the side of the road and just wait it out.What do I do if my vehicle has been damaged by hail? Contact your insurance company and report the damage immediately. Find out if your insurance has a preferred body shop that can do the necessary repair to your vehicle. If you want to choose the repair shop yourself, make sure that you will have your vehicle serviced by a reputable facility. Make sure that you discuss with your insurance company and your body shop, what kind of repair should be done to your vehicle. Ask how long the repair will take. But if several vehicles were damaged in your area during the hailstorm, do not expect the repairs to be finished immediately. After repairs are made, make sure that everything was done to your satisfaction. Check for remaining dents and scratches before taking your vehicle back home. Before having your vehicle repaired, you must check if the repair shop guarantees its work. Make sure that you get the guarantee and contact information in writing. If you find any flaws in the repair, you should be able to bring it back to them at no additional cost.Hailstorms are part of nature. While most parts of the world may not experience this kind of weather, those who live in the middle latitudes are not so fortunate. If you are one of those people and have no choice but to live with it, just do the best you can to protect your roof and your vehicle by following the simple steps mentioned earlier.