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.
Types of Shingles
Mostly due to cost, asphalt shingles are by far the most common and popular type of roofing installed today. Asphalt roof shingles are available in many colors and styles; ranging from the common 3-tab shingle, to architectural shingles, to T-lock shingles. Asphalt shingle life expectancy is usually around 15-years.
The next most popular roof type is metal roofing; getting more popular because when properly maintained, quality metal roofing can last 50 years or more. In areas with heavy snow, its especially popular because of its snow shedding abilities; reducing the danger of roof collapse under heavy snow loads. One Note: metal roof tiles and shingles haven’t been in use long enough to accurately determine life expectancy.
Cedar shingles or a cedar shake roofs are still a viable choice for many homeowners in some areas. Mostly due to its visual aesthetic appearance and life expectancy, which can be 50 or more years when properly maintained.
Other very popular roof types are ceramic roof tile, concrete roof tile, and slate roof tile. Roofs made from these materials have a very long life span when maintained correctly; sometimes up to hundreds of years. They have been the roof of choice for many not only because of their life span, but the architectural attractiveness added to the property.
Several other roof material to choose from, especially for flat roof structures with slight or no roof pitch, are built-up roofing (BUR), also called a hot asphalt roof, uses several layers of membrane fused with hot-mop asphalt.
Modified asphalt is heated using a torch as it is rolled out. When installed correctly, some asphalt seeps out from under the seams; which is an indication of an adequate seal. EPDM rubber roofing forms a single rubber membrane. This type of roof is installed using a cold process that does not require hot asphalt or torching.
No matter what type roofing is installed, it is usually priced by the square, which is a 10 X 10 foot area that totals 100-square feet. . If you have to tear off the old roof and have it disposed of, it could add an additional $50 to $150 per square.
Asphalt shingles are the most affordable type of roofing; usually $200 to $300 per square installed. Cedar shingles or shakes cost around $350 to $400 per square installed.
Metal roofing price is higher priced than shingles, but usually lower than tile or slate roofs. For just material without installation the cost can range from $200 per square for basic metal, to as much as $600 per square for quality coated steel (which lasts 50 to 100-years.) The investment for metal roof options can vary a lot depending on installation difficulty; complex roof architecture with multiple gables and valleys will make the cost rise.
Ceramic roof tile, concrete roof tile, and slate are the most expensive options. These types of roof tile add a lot of weight to the building’s structure; as much as ½ ton per square. This will require strong roof trusses to handle this extra weight. Retrofitting your roof with stronger trusses to support roof tile requires major roof construction modifications and will add significantly to the projects cost.
Acquiring the services of a professional roofing contractor might be best decision if a homeowner is planning a different type roofing material installation.
Here’s some tips:
1. Get local referrals. There is much less chance for potential problems or of being scammed when you choose a roofing contractor from your local area. They’re more familiar with local rules and code regulations and should have relationships with local crews and suppliers.
2. Look for manufacturer designations. Manufacturer designations are considered a badge of honor because the contractor has to pass certain minimum requirements to become factory certified, although, some manufacturers have more stringent requirements than others.
3. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. Some contractors show up right after a storm trying to find work, so it’s very critical to look them up on the BBB website and be sure they have a good score. Stay far away from contractors who do not exist on BBB.org.
4. Get extensive warranties. Not all roofing contractors offer manufacturer warranties that include coverage of the contractor’s workmanship. If a contractor installs the roof poorly, it could take months or years for the problems to show up – and insurance isn’t going to pay for it. If the contractor refuses to fix it, or worse, they’ve gone out of business, your only recourse is to pay for fixing their poor installation yourself.
5. Check for proper insurance. The contractor needs to have insurance for all employees and subcontractors and able to provide a copy of their insurance certificate to you to validate it. If they don’t have adequate insurance, it could potentially lead to legal issues between the contractor and property owner if a roofing employee sustains an injury at the job site.
6. Pay your insurance deductible. Any roofing contractor that claims they can do the repairs without having the property owner pay their insurance deductible is committing insurance fraud and putting the property owner in danger. The insurance deductible is the insured’s responsibility, and the contractor should reflect that in the estimate without inflating the quote to cover all or part of the deductible.
7. Handle your own insurance claim. A roofing contractor that says they are “claims specialists” or can “take care of your insurance claim” could be breaking the law. In most states, it’s not legal for contractors to act on behalf of the homeowner when negotiating an insurance claim. Any contractor who exposes the customer to potential legal problems is not acting in their customer’s best interest.
8. Don’t give in to sales pressure. Look out for contractors that pressure you to sign a contract before your insurance company has estimated the damage. Some contractors say they can work with whatever amount your insurance company settles on, but the property owner needs to make sure it’s not just any amount, but the correct amount. The contractor should thoroughly inspect the property and check that the insurance adjuster didn’t miss any obvious damage.
9. Know your material choices. A contractor who doesn’t offer you different shingle or tile options is not looking out for your best interest. The style and color of the shingles and tiles you install can greatly affect the resale value of your home. If the insurance company is paying for a new roof, it could be the perfect time to make a change and upgrade to a more unique style and color that perfectly suits your taste.
Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors (512) 333-7663 is a roof installation contractor and roof installation company serving Spicewood, Texas and the surrounding Austin, TX area cities. We have been providing quality professional roofing services since 2001. Give us a call if you need advice on what type of roofing system is best for your property.