Having to deal a roofing problem is something nearly every homeowner will deal with at some point. However, many roofing issues can be avoided by an annual inspection for possible repair needs. Or, including a roof replacement when taking on a home improvement construction project.
Except for some new rubber roofing products and the innovations of metal roof tile and metal shingles, roof material and roof installation procedures have stayed pretty much the same for the last 20 or 30 years; except for the cost, of course, because of inflation.
Here are some guidelines to help you decide if you need a new roof:
What is the age of your roof? If its asphalt shingles and its pushing 20 years old it may be time to consider replacing it. It could also depend on how many layers of roofing you have and if its been properly ventilated. If you’ve lived there for some time and you don’t know when it was last replaced, you should think about getting your roof inspected.
Take a look at your roof from outside. Are there any sags in the roof or any other irregularities? If its sagging it could mean the sheathing underneath is rotting. Inspect the valleys closely, because this is where snow and rain flows from your roof to its gutters. Are you finding a lot of granules in the gutters when you clean them? It could mean your shingles are deteriorating. If you have curled or cracked shingles, they’re aging and also breaking down. Check to see if all the tabs are intact and if you have any shingles missing.
Do you have a chimney? They’re a potential weak spot and need to have water-tight flashings around they’re base. After a good storm or rain, go up in your attic and check for any water stains or leaks. Also, again in your attic, see if you can see any light streaming in through the roof boards.
If you see any of these warning signs, call a professional roofing contractor and get your roof inspected.
5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Roof Installation Contractor
After the punishment it took this last storm season, I know it won’t make it through next year’s season. Before I invest all that money, how can I know I’m hiring the right professional contractor for the project?
After this coming summer’s violent storms, fall should be a busy season for roofing companies in much of the south. If your property is ready for a new roof, be careful, because some roofers deserve the bad reputation much of the industry has. As with hiring anyone for a large project, make sure to get referrals from other property owners or tradespeople you trust, and check the company’s references and professional credentials.
Next, here are five questions to ask:
Is there a roof being installed somewhere close by them that is similar to your project?
No matter how smooth the salesperson is, it’s the work of the crew that matters. This gives you a chance to evaluate their workmanship and how they set up and maintain a job site. It probably means the company rep is going to assign you one of their better crews, because they are the ones that are going to best sell you on hiring their company.
What precisely will the project entail?
If you have a couple layers or more of existing roofing, building codes will probably require require you to tear them off before installing your new roof. This will add to the mess and expense, no matter who you hire to do the job. Some roofers might try to cut corners by not replacing the flashing. Unless it’s a thick material with a lot more life in it, now is the best time to replace it. The contract should be specific about what material they are going to be using. Also, the roofing contractor, if you have a tile roof, should specify what exactly is going to be done about the underlayment, and if being replaced, exactly what type of materials will be used to replace it.
How will the job site be cleaned up each day?
The best practice is when the roofer removes only as much as they can re-roof that same day, which reduces the chance that your property is left open to the elements until the next day. At the end of the day, the crew members should tarp any open roof areas and clean up any stripped shingle – including running a large magnet over the lawn and landscaping to make sure they pick up stray nails before leaving the job site. It would be a good idea to make sure these procedures are written into the contract.
Will their insurance rep provide proof of their workman’s compensation and liability coverages?
It’s not enough for the roofing contractor to just tell you that they have the proper insurance, or even to just show you a form letter. You need to get a document from their insurance company, addressed to you, and there’s nothing at all offensive about asking for one. In fact, its a big red flag if the contractor seems offended or hesitates to provide you this info if you ask. After all, if one of the crew members falls off the roof and they aren’t properly insured, the injured crew member could sue you for medical costs and lost wages because they won’t be covered by the employer.
What sort of workmanship warranty will you receive?
Manufacturer warranties usually do not include labor because that’s up to the individual contractor. One or two years should be standard, and having it in writing, even as a simple clause in the contract, is obviously preferable.
To get all your questions answered and have a free consultation and estimate from one of the Austin area’s top roofing contractors, give Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors a call at (512) 333-7663.