Do I need an inspection?
So, what should you look for when inspecting your roof? The National Roofing
Contractors Association (NCRA) recommends you do a roof inspection at least two times a year
– spring and fall. The best place to begin is inside your house – grab a flashlight and make a trip
to the attic.
Here are four things to look for on the inside:
- Places where the roof deck is sagging.
- Signs of water damage or leaking
- Dark spots and trails
- Outside light showing through the roof.
How do I know when to do an exterior check?
When you take a look at the exterior of the roof, pay attention to such things as damaged flashing, missing shingles,
curling, blistering, buckling, rotting and algae growth (which
occurs most often in humid climates and appears as dark or greenish stains).
Here are tips on what to check on the outside:
- Visually inspect your roof for cracked, torn, bald, or missing shingles.
- Scan the roof for loose material or wear around chimneys, vents, pipes,
or other penetrations.
- Watch out for an excessive amount of shingle granules (they look like
large grains of sand) in the gutters – this is a sign of advanced wear.
- Check for signs may not be directly under you faulty shingle; water can
travel down to its lowest spot before it drips. Mold, fungi, and bacteria
can grow quickly – within 24 to 48 hours of water-related problem.
- Examine the drainage and make sure gutters and downspouts are
securely attached. Also ensure all drains are open and allow water to
exit, and all gutters and downspouts are free of debris.
- Check that all bath, kitchen and dryer vents go entirely outside of your
home, not just into the attic space.
- Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering; this indicates the end of
the shingles’ life expectancy.
- Loose material or wear around chimneys, pipes and other penetrations.
- Excessive amounts of shingle granules in your gutters; granules give
shingles added weight and protect them from ultraviolet rays.
What is the right price for a new roof?
Before we can tell you how much your job will cost, we will need to know what it
involves. We understand your concerns about budget and keeping costs under control. We
have the same concerns ourselves. Therefore, the best way to estimate a cost is to have a sales
representative come to your home and take a look at your roof.
How often should I clean my gutters?
Gutters should be cleaned at least once or twice in the fall.
How long does it take to replace a roof?
Replacing a residential roof is a labor-intensive project and depending on the type of
roof, could take anywhere from a one day to a few days or more depending on the size and
complexity. The time involved is substantially affected by the weather, as well. Wind, snow,
rain or even just the threat of one of these will slow the process considerably.
What is an ice dam?
Ice dams occur when snow melts near the ridgelines of warm roofs (roofs without
adequate ventilation). As the water runs down the roof to the overhang, it cools and freezes. If
the snow continues this melt and freeze process, an ice dam can form that can seep under the
shingles, through the decking and into the house. This, of course, can cause serious roof leaks –
even in freezing temperatures.
The best prevention to ice dams is a well-ventilated (cool) roof. Additional protection for your
roof can be applied with an impermeable ice and water membrane. The membrane is installed
on top of the decking, under the roofing material.
Temporary prevention of ice dams can also be done through the use of electric cables along the
eaves of the roof (where the dams usually form). However, new ice dams can form above the
cables and still cause extensive damage. Another emergency solution to ice dams is to fill a
sock or nylon with calcium chloride. Lay the stocking vertically across the ice dam. The calcium
chloride will melt the ice and release the water so that it can drain outside, and not inside your roof.
What is an architectural shingle?
Unlike standard 3-tab or strip shingles, which are single layer in design, a growing
number of shingles are multi-layered or laminated. Their weight and design give a three-
How can I choose the right roofing contractor?
Be sure to get detailed quotes from at least two but preferably three different
contractors. Once you have three quotes sit down and compare the estimates paying special
attention to the materials used and the labor costs. Just as important be sure to talk to people
who have previously used these contractors. Ask if they had any complaints, if they cleaned up
nicely, if they finished on time, kept to the contract, etc. Any roofing business relies on
referrals, so find out what you can, and choose what suits you best.
Can my roof be repaired?
It’s usually best to have an experienced roofer inspect your roof when deciding whether
to repair or replace your roof. However, you (and the contractor) should do an inside roof
inspection and an outside inspection as well. Look for signs that the roof is failing such as stains
on the ceiling, paint that is peeling, shingles that are missing in several locations, etc. You also
need to take into consideration the age of the roof. Are your “20 year” asphalt shingles more
than 15 years old or were they installed just a few years ago. If the roof is well within its
lifespan and you aren’t seeing other warning signs chances are good you can simply repair
and/or replace those shingles that are causing a problem.
Should I have my old roof removed before the new one is installed?
Should you remove your current roof before installing another? Although the
advantages to leaving your old shingles are obvious (cheaper, less labor, faster), unless the
initial roof is a single, problem-free layer, you could be setting yourself up for trouble.
You should discuss removing the old roof with your contractor if any of the following are true:
- Inspecting your roof shows it is in bad shape – shingles are curled, mossy, split,
- The decking is sagging, rotting or deteriorating.
- The new roof is of a lighter material than the original roof. If you put lightweight
shingles over heavyweight shingles, all of the old bumps and ridges from the
original roof will still show.
- Your roof already has more than one layer.
- You live in a climate where ice dams are possible. (i.e., the average January
temperature is below freezing) and the old roof has no ice or water protection
Genereally speaking, experts estimate that the life of your new roof will be cut by as much as
, if it is installed on top of the existing roof.
Should I have my chimney looked at before I have roof work done?
If the chimney requires any maintenance or repair, the best time to work on it is before
a new roof is installed. Coordinate the chimney mason with the roofing contractor and yourself
to make sure all chimney flashing and chimney repairs are completed properly before the new
roof is installed.
Do my solar panels have to be removed to install the new roof?
Although there are rare exceptions to the rule, most solar panels are either bolted to or
mounted on the existing roofing material and must be removed before a new roof can be
installed. Because solar panels are charged using a type of antifreeze, they will have to be
removed and reinstalled by a licensed plumber who can insure that the job is accomplished