Roofing FAQ: New Roof And Re-Roofing Answers
* How do I know if I need a new roof?
The roof should always be checked. You should keep tabs of its state. The following are signs that you may need a new roof.
* How much does a new roof cost?
- Your roof is between twenty and twenty five years old.
- The shingles are excessively cracking, curling, or they are blistering.
- There are many shingles that are missing and/are torn or damaged.
- The roof is leaking in many places.
There is no definitive answer as to how much a new roof will cost. There are a variety of considerations needed before an estimate can be given. From that information, a price quotation or an estimate could be done.
Some of the considerations are:
- Size of roof
- Materials to be used
- Location of house (this is needed to determine which materials would be best for that area's weather)
- Is it for a new house or a re roofing
- State costs and taxes
- Type of home
After that, you can have several contractors bid on the project to get the best price.
* When re-roofing, should I peel off old layers or simply add a new layer of shingles?
It is recommended that you add a new layer of shingles to your roof. Scrapping the old layers will just consume more time and energy, and at the same time by peeling off, the thickness of the shingles are decreasing, leading to possible leakages in the future. By adding new layers of shingles onto your roof, it protects the inner part of the roof and provides you relief against further leakages. Obviously, it would be a lot cheaper.
* What kinds of questions should I ask a roofing contractor?
Getting a roof contractor to do your roof needs a little certainty and guarantee. You can ask the following questions to the contractor to erase doubts regarding his/her services:
* What kinds of questions should I ask references of a roofing contractor?
- Ask your roofing contractor questions with regards to their standing in their field of expertise. It will give you a hint whether they are really offering quality service to their clients.
- Ask questions with regards to their operation. This includes whether they have necessary permits and licenses to operate such business, and if they are carrying insurance in case there are unforeseen incidents that may happen during the construction.
- And lastly, ask questions with regards to the actual roofing constructions and the post-construction services and warranty. Inquire if they can explain to you in layman’s terms how they will construct your roofing, what materials are going to be used, and what services and warranties they offer in case leakages or damages happened to your roof within a time period after construction.
Sometimes, you need referrals from people who know the roofing contractor's work you are considering, especially when you are unfamiliar with that type of business. As the roofing contractor for references, especially from customers who have had work done by him. Questions like the following can be asked of your references of a roofing contractor:
- Initially, ask questions with regards to their relationship with the contractor. Maybe the contractor is a friend or a relative of your reference. That will give you an idea how well that reference knows the contractor.
- You can inquire if they have acquired the services of the roofing contractor. Ask them if they have personally witnessed the construction of their roof, and at the same time letting your reference talk about the quality of service.
- Lastly, ask queries on the reliability of their service, if it withstands the different outside elements surrounding the roof. In this way, you will have no doubt of the integrity of the contractor because the reference himself will tell all.
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A Certified Roofing Contractor-Your best Choice
The life expectancy of your roof depends on several factors; type of roofing, quality of material, and exposure to harsh weather elements among the top. With regular maintenance and normal weathering factors, a roof can last anywhere from 10 – 100 years.
Common roofing material such as built up roofing usually lasts 12 – 20 years, metal roofing 15 – 40 years, wood shake or shingles 10 – 40 years, asphalt shingles 15 – 20 years, and specialty material like slate up to 100 years under good conditions.
Leaks start as small cracks in roofing material that may not be visible; water may collect in an adjacent area. To detect such damage, a close inspection of the roof may be necessary.
A certified roofing contractor can be called to avoid further damage to the roof, or personal injury to the homeowner caused by trying to inspect it his or her self. A roof inspection should be performed annually; constant weathering by sun, heat, rain, snow, hail, wind, and cold can cause roofing material to break down. A certified roofing contractor will know what to look for.
A roof and soffit system should be properly vented to prevent over-heating and moisture retention, two factors that can cause a roof to break down prematurely.
Selecting a Qualified Roofing Contractor
A certified, experienced contractor offers various services. From completely tearing off an old roof and replacing it with a new one, to inspecting and “certifying” an existing roof. The latter is a process in which the roof is inspected and “guaranteed” to function properly for a certain period of time; usually 2 years. The contractor takes responsibility for any necessary roofing repair during that period.
A certified contractor is knowledgeable of roof system types, materials, and installation procedures best suited to each project, and will ensure there is adequate venting.
Ask potential roofing contractors questions such as whether or not they are licensed and bonded. What liability insurance coverage they carry, and whether it is up to date. Ask which roofing product manufacturers they are licensed and approved by, for installation of products and warranty purposes. Also ask if they are a member of any regional or national trade organizations.
Several resources are available to find a certified roofing contractor; referrals, local government licensing agencies, and web sites that offer contractors for hire, or a list of contractors who are licensed and bonded.