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? Virginia Dale
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.
Virginia DaleFlat roofs are often the most susceptible to hail damage. In fact most types of flat roof do not even come with a hail rating. This either means that the material has not been tested, or that it wont hold up long under hail storms. This does not mean that there aren't flat systems that hold up admirably.To show the differences in roofing materials, I am going to compare three common flat roof systems. One is rubber roofing. This stuff is usually around a half inch or more thick and instead of being adhered to the roof, it is mechanically fastened with screws. This requires a further layer of insulation to complete the roof system. My Denver roofing company found hundreds of large diameter hail impacts because of the soft rubber material in one example. However, there were no leaks on this building. PVC roofs do not hold up as well from hailstorms because they are so brittle. You actually want a slightly flexible material if that material is not very strong. In once case, our roofing contractors in Denver found impacts that looked like shattered glass. Hail can go right through thin PVC. This immediately causes leaks and water damage. So make sure you use thick, impact resistant PVC in hail regions.Rubberized asphalt is a construction system that performs well under hail conditions. Rubber is mixed in with the asphalt to increase the life and elasticity of asphalt. Asphalt's main weakness is that it dries and cracks over time, so this attempts to combat this. It will not completely protect underlying fiber glass roofing, mainly because of how thin it is. However they generally do protect from hail pretty well. My roofing contractors in Denverrecommends gravel surfacing to be added to the bitumen or rubber for maximum weather protection. Gravel is very strong compared to other built up roofs. A rock will always be harder than ice. The rocks absorb the energy from the hail instead of having the fragile roofing material do the job. Generally a well built gravel built up roof never has any problems with hail damage. Other strong roofs include metal roofs, which may dent but rarely need to be replaced. Coated acrylic foam roofs are actually some of the toughest roofing materials out there. High density foam will absorb and dissipate pretty much any hail stone. To really get a strong roof, you could substitute river rocks for gravel on any of the built up roofs. This results in a much heavier but basically impervious roof.
Roof Repair EstimatesMy home suffered damage from a severe hail storm this year. It broke out our two street facing windows and our upstairs window. It totaled the exterior of our cars and even destroyed the rosebushes my wife had tried to keep alive through the summer. And the hail damaged roof? The roof was wrecked, even I could tell that and I am no roofing expert.My doorbell was ringing almost before the rain had stopped. It was an "Invasion of the Roofing Guys." I talked to no less than five on the first day. So who do you choose? They all pretty much say the same thing. Some guys seem more professional than others, some were very pushy and applied a lot of pressure for me to sign a "no obligation" contract. I felt like I was in over my head. Who was going to rip me off the least? That was the pessimistic thought that kept coming back to me.I eventually picked a roofing contractor that seemed like a decent kind of guy. He talked to me about his family and he convinced me he was on my side. I have a pretty good BS detector and even though I thought he was a little too pushy, overall he seemed trustworthy. He had testimonials from other home owners whose roof installations he had done. He seemed knowledgeable. Based on my limited knowledge, I felt like he was the best guy to go with out of the many I had talked to. So I didn't take the time to call any of his referrals and I signed a contract. Things started well. We got the paperwork done and he received his first check and went to work. A large group of workers descended on my house and had the roof stripped before 10:00 am on the first day. By the morning of the second day it was done and they were gone. I was amazed at how fast the job went. Right away, I saw some things that bothered me. They left nails in the yard and a pile of shingles for me to remove. I felt like full cleanup would include nails but I let it slide. I'm sure they assumed the shingles were mine so I would want the extras. I didn't need them, and how was I to dispose of them? But the roof itself just didn't look exceptional; it bowed in some areas and had some uneven spots. Basically, it looked like a poorly done job.The roofing company also contracted to repair the windows. Once they had my check they were far more difficult to reach than before. The windows finally got done 2 months later. Then we had problems with the final payment. Somehow it worked out that I owed him more money. I refused to pay and they eventually faded away. So I would give my roofer experience 4 out of 10. I'm sure others have had much better and much worse experiences.Here is some key points that I learned that I hope will help you when you need your roof replaced:1. Get a local roofing company to examine your house before you call your insurance company. 2. Get at least two quotes from local roofing contractors. Unless your live in a very rural area, there should be no shortage of roofers to contact. Make sure you get referrals from them. 3. Follow up on these referrals and talk to their customers about the job they did. 4. Be careful what you sign. The "no obligation" contract may be more than what you are told. 5. Make sure the quotes spell out exactly what will be done. If not, you won't be able to compare an apples to apples quotes. Be sure it includes cleanup and haul-off. 6. Contact your insurance company and schedule an appointment with the adjuster. 7. If you have found someone that you feel comfortable with, I would suggest you have the roofing contractor on hand when the insurance adjuster is there. 8. Do not pay for the entire job in advance. Make sure everything is completed per the contract before you make your final payment. 9. And finally - to repeat - take your time, use a local roofer and ask for references. Next time I will take my time to find someone I am totally comfortable with. Always ask questions. Make sure your contract spells out exactly what will be done. Find a roofer who takes the time to make the job clear to you before he collects the check, or your sign a contract. Take it from me, the little bit of extra time it takes up front will pay in a satisfactory job and peace of mind later.