All About Roofing
As any home owner or building manager will tell you, a building is not a singular entity, but rather a collection of many different parts all lashed together by what can seem like an incredibly flimsy binding material into one multifaceted whole. Each element, however, is prone to its own quirks and periodic break downs. From leaking pipes to damaged toilets to power outages to sudden damage to walls from unexpected disasters, there’s a lot that can go wrong with any building. And, with each element being of the utmost importance to maintain the comfort level of the people living and working in a building.
One particularly vulnerable area of a building is its roof. Most roof tops are used to keep out rain and animals, particularly in regions where one or the other or both are particularly abundant. Even in places where such things are uncommon, a roof top still keeps out the elements, particularly sunlight and cold air. Roofing is a fairly important aspect of a building, but it is not the easiest element to maintain, as quite frankly they still quite vulnerable to the elements they protect people from. Each roof in each region is different, and each one can take a specialized worker to keep that roof in good working order.
Roofing is a difficulty task for any contractor, even specialists. The exact material of a roof is variable. While ancient materials such as ceramic tiles are still in use in some parts of the world, most rooftops have a wide variety of material on them, such as concrete, aluminum sheeting, PVC, wooden shakes and shingles, EPDM rubber, polyurethane foam, asphalt, slate, Teflon fabric, copper and Hypalon. Each of these materials requires specialized work to keep them together. Many roof tops in areas that get a lot of rain are pitched, that is built at an angle, so that falling rainwater flows down off the roof and into the gutters. Other flatter roof tops in rainy areas have their own means of diverting rain away from the building within.
Accessing a roof can be a primary concern of roofing specialists and workers. This can be a fairly dangerous job, which is why a great deal of caution and possibly professional help are called for to do work on a roof top, even a low set one. Support for a roof, generally built into an attic, can be an important thing for roofers to understand before going to work. Indeed, examining an attic is a common method for roofers to examine a roof for damages without actually risking the climb to the top of a building to do so. Examining other parts of a building’s interior, as well as actually examining the roof, is often also used to assess damage to a roof.
Of course, once damage has been detected, it can also be repaired. While many carpenters can do this work, it is often preferable to hire a roof specialist. Sometimes it’s as simple as re shingling a roof with asphalt shingles or sealing up a leak in a concrete roof top, but sometimes it can call for the roofing structure to be repaired. Sometimes an entire roof top needs to be entirely replaced, which can be a long, difficult and oftentimes loud process that most home owners and building managers will want to be done with as soon as possible, and done right so it doesn’t happen again any time soon.
Of course, hiring the right roofer can be fairly important, as an inept roofer can cause as many problems as they fix. Again specialists are preferable, and experienced specialists are at the top of the list for people you want working on your roof. Seeing examples of their previous work and client testimonials can also be helpful for getting a good idea of the kind of work a roofer does. And, as important and expensive as serious roof repair can be, it’s always a good idea to get someone who knows what they’re doing so you don’t have to hire someone else to repair the previous repairs, or even just damage left over from previous repairs. There isn’t much else you can do for your roof by way of preventative maintenance, but choosing experts to find it is a good idea.
Steps For Good Roof Repair Work
Your roof is not immune to damage and for some reason, property owners look at this last. They want to think about everything on the inside of the property, but don’t even consider how the roof has to keep it all intact. If the roof is not secure, it could all fall down and/or leak.
What good will having a nice interior do when the roof is leaking and it gets wet? You have to protect the roof by having annual inspections done along with immediate repairs when they inspector finds a problem.
Go For New Materials
You should look to get new materials put in where you are having repairs done. So, if there is a crack in the roof or a shingle has come loose, don’t just have the same material put in. This is fine and you might be good with that, but you could also go with roof repair work that is better.
You could find materials that are able to resist impact when they are hit. This is perfect in places where you have a lot of snow storms and hail storms. Even in areas you don’t, it can just take the wind blowing something onto the roof to cause damage.
Get Rid Of Debris
The gutters will be a mess and that is a sign you have to clean it up. You should look at this especially if you have a lot of leaves in the gutter. You should think about getting those leaves taken out and then cleaning up the gutter thoroughly. The reason is the gutter is connected to the rooftop.
So, if you don’t clean it, you might have a problem with how things work out. It might damage the roof and all you had to do was clean out the leaves and/or the debris inside.
Insulate For Ice (In Colder Climates)
If you live in an area where the weather is really cold and it snows a lot, you will know how bad it can get. The snow starts to collect on the roof and puts a lot of weight on it. Plus, it starts to go through the shingles and that is even worse. If you do get a lot of snow and/or ice, you have to insulate for that.
Tell them to put extra padding up there on the roof when they are doing the repairs. This will keep it protected when the snow falls.
Do you have trees around the roof that could be causing troubles? Older properties will have trees that are large and tall which means they have to be pruned. Now, most people don’t want to go up there and work on the bottom of the tree, but that is not enough.
Look to call a professional to do the trimming for you. They will be able to take a ladder and get up there for the trimming.
This is great because if the tree does not get trimmed, it will continue to hit the roof and cause damage to it.
Find Surface Bubbles
They will be present if the roof is old. They develop because the weather and sun might take a toll on the materials sitting on top. It gets even worse if moisture is not drying up on the roof and is instead leaking through. This is when those bubbles become massive and eventually burst wide open.
Don’t let it get to that and have the pro look at those bubbles. You might even be able to find a few while looking at the roof from below. The rest can be found by having someone go up there and look.
Roof repairs are not easy and you will know how expensive they can be when that bill comes around. However, if you don’t get the roof repaired, you might be in a spot where you are paying to have it all replaced. The repair is far cheaper to pay for than having to go out and get it replaced.
You will have more control when you get it replaced, but you will lose your entire budget because of it. Be prompt with any repair work.
Choosing Roofing Contractors
Choosing roofing contractors can be a daunting task. Most homeowners may only have to install a new roof once in their lifetime and therefore they will want to make sure that they choose roofing contractors that are the best. This article will provide you with a few things to consider before choosing the best roofing contractors in your area.
The first thing to consider is insurance. It is very important to make sure that your roofing contractor has liability insurance and workmen’s compensation. Do not be timid to ask for appropriate certificates or proof of valid and current insurance policies. This will be advantageous to you as a homeowner because it will keep all of the quotations on a level playing field. Obviously, roofing companies that do not carry insurance for their company or workers can offer a lower quote.
The next important consideration is whom to choose. It is best to choose a reputable local contractor who has been in business for many years. Do not choose a company that is at the time only operating locally. Select an established roofing company that has a good reputation in the community. There are many fly-by-night roofing companies that will offer you warranties and guarantees. The only problem about these type of companies is when you request after installation service. These fly-by-night companies will have vanished or moved away to another location. It is easy to provide a promise even if it is written on a piece of paper but a warranty or guarantee is only as good as a roofing company’s reputation and longevity.
Never consider a low price as the best solution. A cheap low-ball price is not good for the entire roofing industry because it makes it hard for other companies to run a successful business over time. Obviously, a roofer that does not have an office or employees can work a lot cheaper. This type of company can usually operate out of their pickup truck. Clients who rely on the lowest price for anything are usually disappointed down the road and often end up paying more money for poor workmanship, non-existing guarantees, and inferior materials.
Roofers who do work part-time on the side or out of a pick-up truck can always do the work for a lot cheaper price. But in the long run you, as a homeowner, will get exactly what you pay for. Customers that purchase items or services solely on the lowest price will never save money. They will always ultimately end up spending more money to fix a variety of problems.
It is important also to ignore storm chasers. Storm chasers are roofing companies that come into your area after a storm and offer to fix your roof at a remarkably low price. They may also place various signs on the yards of your neighbors who they have just canvassed. Many of these scam-type roofing companies will ask you to sign a letter of intent. Never be pressured by these type of forceful tactics because you never should have to sign a letter of intent. Simply tell them that you will wait until you see the contract.
When you choose a particular roofing company always have them give you a written, detailed quote. Remember that you are the person in control and that you can dictate a down payment, a payment when work starts, and a final payment. Ask particular questions such as how long will the job will take, when will the job start, and will the company clean up after themselves. You will not want to be cleaning up a yard full of old shingles on your own because it will cost you a lot of additional money.
Finally, consider the type of communication that is going on between you and the roofing company. Are they returning your calls? Are they providing you with the documentation that you require? Do they follow through on what they promise? If any of your questions are not addressed in a timely and appropriate manner then you may want to consider choosing a different roofing company. Yes, choosing a good roofing contract may be a daunting task but it does not have to be if you follow the above tips.