We get a lot of questions from customers about all aspects of the roofing industry – about cost, timing, materials, insurance claims and so on. Here is a list of Frequently asked Questions and hopefully helpful answers.
Is there any preparation needed for the installation of a new roof?
During the repair process your house will be subject to some vibration from hammering. You will need to remove any loose hangings on the wall – pictures, paintings, flat screen TV’s etc to avoid damage by falling.
We cover the drive way and the area surrounding the home using boards and tarps to avoid damage in case of falling parts during the installation.
Keeping people, vehicles and pets clear of the working area is also ideal.
How long does roof replacement take?
This will depend largely on the size of the roof, the style and design and accessibility. Small homes can be done in a day or two while big homes may take a week or more. Large commercial roofing jobs can take many weeks – depending on how complex the roof is.
How long should my roofing last?
This very much depends on a number of factors like, your local weather and extremes in temperature, The quality of the materials used. We can best answer this question after we have inspected your roof.
How much will it cost me to do roofing?
This will depend on the type of roofing being done. Repairs on segments are cheaper than the installation of a whole new roof. The choice of materials will also determine the cost. Expensive materials will normally last longer but cost more. The contractor will also come with a price tag. Many people will prefer expensive ones due to their quality of work. Affordability simply means getting the best value for your particular budget.
We are of the opinion that Owens Corning are one of the best roofing materials suppliers and highly recommend them, We have had great success with them over the years
Understanding The more Complex Features of Your Roof
You will find it really helpful to develop a solid understanding of the various characteristic of your roof… you need to be aware of them so that you can talk to your contractor about them and in many cases, these things can have a great deal to do with what would be an appropriate roofing product for you to use on your home.
The first thing I want to talk about is the pitch of your roof. Most residential roofing materials require at least, what we call a 3/12-pitch. The 3/12 refers to rise over run. It means that your roof has to go up 3 feet vertically for every 12 feet it goes horizontally. Again, most residential roofing materials, whether it’s standard shingles, whether it’s tiles, slate, wood sheets, most metal systems require that 3/12-ptch.
The thing I cannot caution you on enough that manufacturers specify a minimum pitch for a reason and they are serious about it. If a manufacturer could sell their product to a lower pitch, believe me, they would love to do it because everyone likes to sell product. So, you make sure that you adhere to the minimum pitch of the product you’re using for your roof replacement. Don’t let the contractor talk you into thinking that, “Well I can make it work anyway even though it’s under pitch!” Absolutely, under no circumstances should any roofing material ever be used at a lower pitch than what manufacturers says.
The next thing I want to talk about is Offset Eves. This same situation also exists when you think about dormers or certain protrusions in a roof. An offset eve exists when there’s a part of your roof that sticks out further than the rest of that roof. You will see this feature happening over porches. Sometimes, it’s done for a decorative accent maybe in front of garages or other doors. But basically, as you look along the bottom edge of your roof where the gutters might hang, you’ll see that it’s staggered. It doesn’t go straight. It’s not flashy. It goes for while and then suddenly, the roofline is going upward and the bottom edge of the roof moves upward as well.
The reason these offset eves can be an issue is because they effect the way that your courses of shingles line up.So basically, when your roofer starts to install new shingles they are going to start at the lowest area on the roof and they’re going to install that lowest offset eve, then eventually, as they progress up the roof they’re going to run in to where the eave is higher where it’s stairs’ steps upward and that’s the critical juncture.
They want to make sure that they have done things in a way so that those courses or shingles are going to line up at that point and you don’t want to end up with some sort of staggered course, or short course. When that happens it can look pretty unattractive and frankly, it can sometimes jeopardize the roofs ability to withstand certain weather conditions. This is not the kind of roof replacement you are looking for.
Does Your Roof Have A Dead Valley?
A dead valley is basically a place where water accumulates on your roof because water runs from a couple directions or maybe runs from one direction and runs in to a wall or some other protrusion. But it’s basically in an area where water collects and gathers. Usually a dead valley, hopefully is going to be sloped a little bit, one way or the other, to encourage that water to get off that roof.
These are very, very critical areas of your roof. You want a roof replacement designed in such a way that when rain water hits the roof and it just travel straight down, drains off the roof, goes in to your gutters, and gets carried away from your house. Its like the water has a nice, clean, and clear pathway off the roof. Dead valleys are areas that obstruct that pathway and they cause the water to gather or to collect. It’s very critical that if you’ve got one or more of these on your roof, you are fully aware of how your contractor is going to working with them.
A lot of times, these areas are handled with some sort of roofing membrane like a PVC, or TPO, or a rubber membrane, which is basically sort of like putting a big plastic bag over your roof. It’s like a big impenetrable plumber seal in those areas. That’s a good way to handle them. However, even if you use those types of barriers and those types of materials in a dead valley, you are inevitably going to end up putting fasteners through them. At some point the membrane is going to join up with the rest of the roof and require fastening and this presents opportunity for water to possibly penatrate through the fixing holes.
The other way that sometimes you can handle dead valleys is with sheet metal. It’s also the most time consuming and the most expensive but it’s probably the most durable and lasting way to do things. You might find that your roofing contractor doesn’t have the expertise or the equipment for using sheet metal in those areas. So, you might end up hiring a sheet metal contractor to come in and handle those dead valley areas.
Other Protrusions On Your Roof
Very similar to dead valleys are large protrusions on your roof. This might be a large, really wide chimney. It maybe a dormer window, a shed type dormer, it could be a variety of features on your roof. Once again these large protrusions interrupt the simple downward flow of water.
You want to make sure that things are being handled properly by your roofing contractor so that water can get around that protrusion and doesn’t pull up behind it, doesn’t hit a dead end. When you think about these types of protrusions and dead valleys you need to be thinking about the effects of ice and snow, particularly if you’re in a northern climate and also in terms of tree leaves, pine needles, and other types of debris that ends up on our roofs. They often collect a lot of debris so they have to be handled properly.
Flared gables are often found on chalet style homes and commonly found a lot on log homes. They were popular with some of the architecture here in the United States back in the 1960’s.
Basically, you can recognize a flared gable if you stand at the bottom of your roof and look up. If you see that the ridge or the peek, the top of your roof is wider than the bottom of the roof and this can sometimes be wider as much as six, seven, eight feet. A lot of times, maybe it’s two or three feet but if you see that the ridge of the roof is wider than the bottom of the roof, that’s what we call “flared gable” or “flying gable”
These are very, very critical areas also. With some roofing materials, it’s not a big deal to handle a flared gable, however, with metal roofing, sometimes the closures or the trim pieces that are put on the gable ends of roofs could potentially collect and gather water, roof debris, ice snow, tree leaves, and pine needles.
Normally down the gable of a roof when the gable runs perpendicular to the bottom edge of the roof then you don’t have this flared gable situation. Normally, all the water is just streaming straight down the roof. When you’ve got this flared gable situation every bit of water that ends up in that flared area is running into that flare not just running straight down the roof. If you’ve got any sort of trim piece on the flared gable there is the likelihood of water and debris gathering there. This presents a risk because most of these trim pieces were not designed to handle any significant amounts of water.
So, if you have flared gables, you need to talk to your roofing contractor about how he’s going to handle it. Make sure he knows what he is doing and how he is going to best install your roof or carry out roof repairs
I can’t stress enough. Make wise decisions when you’re thinking about roofing. I’m here to help give you the information that you need in order to to make the best choices for you and you home.
How much does a Roof Replacement cost?
Here is a good resource for getting some idea of the cost of re-roofing your building.