We provide the residential and commercial roof repair, inspection and replacement services throughout the United States.
We are a national company dedicated to finding a local contractor. We work only with reliable local owners who have decades of experience in the field as well as the best technology, equipment, and training to handle any and all roof-related issues.
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Roofing 101: Everything You Need to Know About Roofing and Roof Repair
When was the last time that you held a Super Bowl party at your home? Did people come over and notice that something was damaged, and you felt like you should have seen it first? Maybe it rained during the party, and there was too much water leaking from the gutters, getting the guests wet. Having guests over can be a blast, but you can keep them safer by performing regular maintenance on your home. When you think about it, your home could be the largest asset that you own. Because the roofing system keeps all of your home’s walls, floors, and contents safe from the weather elements, it’s also the most crucial part of the structure. If something happens to this top layer, then water and pests can enter the home and start to cause damage.
While you may need a partial repair, visible signs of damage could make it more sensible to pursue a complete re-roofing, which is installing a new layer over the existing shingles, or to purchase an entire product, after having the old materials and worn-out lumber removed. This major purchase could cost you somewhere between $8,000 and $20,000, according to one estimate published on Money.com. If there was a storm or natural disaster that contributed to the damage, it’s reasonable to expect that your property insurance will cover some or all of the cost of hiring roofing contractors.
If you are serious about spending thousands of dollars on fixing or replacing your roofing system, then do some research and explore the different kinds of roofs and other options. You don’t have to pick the first contractor you meet. It’s fine to get estimates from different firms, but don’t rush into signing a contract for services either. If you take your time and pick the right contractor, you will have a better feeling like you picked a good company for work that will protect your biggest investment over the next 10 to 20 years.
Common Signs of Roofing Damage
Astute homeowners won’t get stuck with sudden repairs because they monitor the integrity of their home’s roofing system over time. According to GAF.com, a major shingle brand, here are some common signs that your roofing system is damaged:
1. There is visible water damage in the attic.
2. There is paint peeling off on the home’s outer walls.
3. There is mildew or mold visibly growing on the ceilings.
4. The sheathing or siding is noticeably wearing down.
5. Some areas of the roofing system appear darker.
Other visible signs are as follows:
- Shingles are missing when you stand up on a ladder and survey the roofing system.
- Water has leaked on the floor from an obvious hole in the ceiling.
There can be other problems that seem like a roofing problem such as leaky pipes or faulty air conditioning ductwork, which are causing moisture to build up and damage the interior, but, once you investigate the source of the moisture, you soon realize that the cause isn’t roofing damage.
What You Don’t Know About Roofing Damage
Another way to think of whether it’s time to hire a roofing contractor is to consider the integrity, or completeness, of the entire roofing system. This system only works to protect your home if it is intact, and if there is no water or moisture getting in an damaging the components of the home. For example, homeowners may see signs of damage and want to get a new roofing system immediately, but they aren’t informed of the quality of work performed by the previous roofing contractors. In addition, their old roofing system may not be compliant with current building codes, and, therefore, a quick re-roofing job (placing new asphalt shingles over the old ones) won’t help them pass the latest codes or satisfy their homeowners’ insurance company.
Common Types of Building Materials
It might surprise you to learn that some types of roofing coverings will last more than 100 years, including slate and rubber slate. However, these options are not as commonly selected by homeowners because of their high cost and their potential to be broken if they are stepped on. Some buildings that are currently being renovated and were built around 1900, for example, are in need of costly roofing systems, and, much to the chagrin of the people or organizations restoring them, slate is the only material that will make them look authentic. According to Nationwide Insurance, these are some common roofing materials to consider:
- Asphalt shingles.
- Stone-coated steel.
- Metal roofing.
- Green roofing.
- Built-up roofing.
- Solar tiles.
- Clay tiles.
- Concrete tiles.
In general, asphalt shingles are the cheapest solution, and they can last more than 20 years. However, the weather patterns in your community may suggest that you are better off purchasing stronger shingles that will past the appropriate wind tests, especially if you live in hurricane-affected areas of the south. If you live in an area that is subject to regular hailstorms, you might also need to ask about the cost of impact-resistant shingles. We did not devote much information here to slate and rubber slate due to their costly nature.
What Roofers Won’t Tell You
It might seem like a stretch, but not all roofing companies will try to inform you about roofing maintenance or worry about impressing you with their level of craftsmanship. One way to look at this is how some roofers view you, the property owner, as someone who must find an affordable contractor who is available to do this risky kind of work. Especially if your own home’s exterior covering is badly damaged, you don’t want to delay the process. They understand that you only need this service once every decade or two and aren’t worried about having you become a repeat customer. What’s more, most homeowners are looking for the total price they can afford and the type of shingle or material that matches their design goals for their house. That being said, you can find different contractors with similar price points and compare their references, including what people say about their company down at the home improvement store and what neighbors who used them have shared. It’s easy to Google a contractor’s company name and see what types of reviews have been posted recently online. Whether you’re working with a local, regional, or national company, be sure to select a contractor who is also a certified installer for the brand of shingles or materials that you want.
Obvious Signs That Something’s Wrong with Your Roofing System
We can’t really go into enough detail here about how your roofing system will be at greater risk for damage because of the original installer’s poor workmanship. All components of a roofing system must be properly installed and sealed to protect against normal weather conditions such as wind, rain, hail, and snow. Over time, repeated exposure to these agents may cause the roofing system’s components to break down. However, poor workmanship means they can begin to break down sooner than they should. That’s why it’s critical to bring in the right roofing repair contractors when you do any extensive repairs or replacements.
What are the Major Components of a Roofing System?
Whether your home has steep, sloping roofs or a typical asphalt design like we see all over the country on the three-bedroom, two-bath home, the most common material is the asphalt shingle. However, there are other components of a roofing system.
The Inner Layer
First, there is an underlying layer of wood, typically long sheets of plywood, that are nailed down to the rafters. This layer of lumber must be able to support the weight of all roofing materials.
The Protective Sheeting
Second, roof-repair contractors will apply a protective layer to the wood that will lock out all moisture. This layer called the underlayment exists between the shingles and the wood.
The Outer Layer
Third, the roofing system will have shingles, usually made of asphalt, that is attached to a starter strip surface. This layer is designed to safeguard the shingles from prematurely blowing off and from allowing water into the wood located directly below.
Your home’s roofing system has components that hold the shingles in place along its borders and seams, also known as sheathing, as well as flashing. These panels are designed to encourage rainwater to run off the surface. Gravity naturally causes water to flow towards the ground. The roofing system must also have a way to breathe so that there is not too much buildup of heat or moisture over its lifetime of exposure to natural elements.
Choosing a Roofing Repair Company
Before you hire anyone to do any roof repairs on your home or commercial building, you need to research the contractor’s qualifications and reputation for hiring roofing teams that do quality work. The contractor may not be the person who actually comes out to supervise the crew who will perform the backbreaking work, and the crew members may be temporary laborers with limited roofing experience. They may not get paid much by the hour or have health insurance or worker’s compensation benefits that protect them while they work on your home or building. Here are things to look for:
Type of Licensure
- City or town operating license.
- County operating license.
- State operating license or certification as a roofing contractor.
Full Business Insurance
The state that a roofing contractor operates in establishes its own licensing and insurance requirements for each type of building contractor. A roofing contractor should have general business liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance to cover workers who get hurt on the job. Installing a roofing system is very dangerous work, and it’s easy for one or more workers to fall down from a ladder or while they are walking on the slopes of the home. A worker can sustain paralysis, traumatic brain injury, broken limbs, or even death while performing their duties. If you hire unlicensed or uninsured roofing repair contractors and someone gets hurt while working on your home, you could face a costly lawsuit against your own property insurance. According to HomeAdvisor.com, one of the best ways to prevent becoming a victim of a roofing scam is to speak to multiple contractors.
Reputation in the Local Community
A good example of when you are at risk for a roofing scam is during the months following a major hurricane or tornado’s impact on the homes and buildings in your community. “Contractors” will come into town, set up shop, and claim to be roofing repair contractors. When you do a little digging, you discover shady contractors are not licensed in your state and/or that they have scammed others in the same community. A common ploy is to collect a deposit after the homeowner signs a sales contract, but they never show up to perform the work. A roofer should have a list of customers who you can call and verify their experience. Some former customers may let you come to their home and inspect their work, which allows you to evaluate the overall quality of workmanship for yourself.
In general, the total cost of a roofing system replacement should not be much different when you speak to a local roof repair company or a national roof repair company. The choice of roofing materials, such as shingles vs. metal, will definitely affect the total cost. Roofing contractors send a salesman to calculate the square footage of the home and to analyze how high and how steep your roof is. They will consider if there are any special sections, such as gables or corners, that would require more specialized work. They will also consider the time of year, current weather patterns, and how many days it will take for their roofing team to complete the job. Roofing contractors should be able to provide an estimate that is near the amount you found in an online estimation tool. Many homeowners use websites like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor to find potential contractors and to estimate the cost for each type of roof repair. Your roof repair may be partly or fully covered by your property insurance. So, it’s best to keep your insurance adjuster in the loop unless you will be funding this whole job yourself.
Get Started With Your Repair Today
Remember, you don’t have to go online and choose just any company to come out and write an estimate for your damaged home. Start with the names of companies who have helped your neighbors and co-workers to replace their roofing system over the last decade. When you get the name of a company, set up an appointment and have the contractor or salesperson visit the next business day. With this phone call (or by completing an online web form), you’ll only agree to receive a free estimate. Then, you will have time to research the company’s reputation and shop online for the different types of materials available in your area. If you want a special type of roofing material, such as solar tiles, the roof repair contractors may have to order those materials. Their ordering process could delay the date that the work will begin on your home.
Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor
- How long have you been building roofs and doing roof replacements in this community?
- How much is it to purchase different coverings, not just asphalt or tile?
- How long will it take for you to begin work on my roofing job?
- How long you will you need to complete the roofing job?
- Do you carry worker’s compensation insurance for all workers?
- Will you have any subcontractors not covered under your worker’s compensation insurance coming out to my property to perform any work?
- What is your state roofing contractor license number?
- What is your commercial insurance information?
As a homeowner, you must protect your interests! In many ways, the roof will be the most important way to safeguard against future damage to your property and belongings. Any licensed roofing contractor will not hesitate to answer these questions because he or she routinely employ roofing crews, covers them under the appropriate types of business insurance, and has them perform roofing jobs on a regular schedule. If you notice that these questions cannot be answered to your satisfaction, then it’s time to pick another roof repair company. Finally, every roofing contractor’s professional reputation is easy to verify if he or she is worth hiring!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can My Roof Be Repaired or Does It Need to Be Replaced?
Can your roof be repaired, or does it need to be replaced? That is the question right now, and you’re wanting to know the best solution. Most likely, it can be repaired for less than the cost of a new roof, but that doesn’t mean the repair scenario is the right choice. Often times it can be, but you really need to look closely at the situation to determine the best possible solution.
Taking a look at the national averages in terms of costs for repairing a roof can help you see what to expect more clearly. Roof repairs aren’t cheap, but the cost of a new roof isn’t cheap either. One of the things you need to determine before you do anything is how much longer you expect your current roof to last.
If you’re going to pay a considerable amount of money to repair your roof, only to replace it in the next couple of years, then maybe it’s time to replace it now. That’s one of the possibilities that you have, but it might or might not be the best solution. You’re going to have to do the math.
How much does a roof repair or replacement cost?
In order to do the math, you might need to know how much the repairs would cost. That means to get a quote. Once you get a quote, you can be talking to the roofing company about the possibility of roof replacement, too. If you end up needing to get your roof replaced, you will be able to discuss that number with them as well.
You can certainly do a little looking around before you make the decision to call the roofing company. You need to take the time to pick a good company anyway. Once you have done that, you can then figure out what your next move is going to be.
How Long Does It Take To Replace A Roof?
You might be thinking, will this project be done by the time those out of town guests are scheduled to arrive? What about all those BBQ’s you wanted to hold this summer–are those off the table now?
Of course, as with every construction project, there are variables that come into play. Typically, though, your new roof shouldn’t take more than 3 or 4 days to install. And that includes everything from removing the old roof to clean up afterward.
When receiving a roofing replacement or repair quote, talk to the contractor about the timeline. A good roofing company will be able to give you an accurate estimate for how long the project will take.