Replacing a roof is a big expense fortunately, one that a house faces only every substitute. You probably have many questions if your house is in need of a new roof. Here are 10 tips to get you started.
1. Learn the roof lingo
Before you begin talking to contractors, learn the basics of roofing and some terms in the industry.
The visible roof top is the shingles. Asphalt shingles is the most common.
Decking is the plywood base of the roof to which the shingles are attached. Sometimes it’s called the sheathing.
The underlay membrane acts as a protective barrier, preventing water from entering between the decking material and the shingles. In the past, underlayment consisted of treated felt or tarpaper. There are now better products on the market. Sears Home Services, for example, uses a synthetic underlayment which is durable and won’t tear like felt or tarpaper.
A metal flashing covers gaps in a roof. For example, where two sections of roof meet or the base vents or chimneys. Metal flashing has the disadvantage of rusting. Sears Home Services uses a synthetic waterproofing sealing agent to prevent water from seeping through gaps.
2. What questions to ask a roofing contractor
These are questions you should ask any contractor that you interview.
When hiring a roofing contractor, it’s important to ask questions to ensure that you are making an informed decision and getting the right professional for the job. Here are some questions you might consider asking:
3. Value, not price, is the focus
While everyone wants to save some money, value and return on your investment should be the main considerations. You want a price that is fair and covers the cost of installation and quality products.
Ask what is included in the estimate. Does the price include everything, even nails, for your roof Substitute? Does it include all labor, such as obtaining the permit and scheduling any inspections required? Delivering the new materials and removing and disposing the old roof? Is a project manager included in the contract?
Find out what will happen if you have to pay for unforeseen expenses, like replacing the wood under the shingles.
4. Why is it better to tear the roof off than to replace it?
It is tempting to place the new shingles over the old ones in order to save time, money and a lot of mess. This method is known as a roof overlay or roof over.
The benefits of a roof-over are outweighed by the risks. Roof overs reduce the lifespan of new shingles by accumulating heat and moisture under them. The decking underneath is not visible, so problems are hidden. A roof that is blown off can invalidate the warranty.
It’s therefore important to tear-off the protective membrane and the shingles. Your roof will last longer.
5. Ask about ventilation
A roof that has good attic ventilation will last longer. The right ventilation will reduce attic temperatures in the summer and moisture accumulation in winter. Ask the contractor what type of ventilation is installed on the roof top to exhaust hot air, and at the eaves soffit to bring in fresh air.
6. What is the plan when the decking has deteriorated?
Sheathing is also known as decking and it is usually half-inch thick plywood. The decking should be in good condition. Attaching new shingles onto faulty wood will reduce the lifespan of the roof.
Ask the contractor what he does if he finds unsound decking when removing the old shingles. What is the impact on cost if they replace it? Sears Home Services offers 64 square feet decking to cover small repairs to keep your house dry.
7. Thicker shingles
There are many choices when it comes shingle types, but only two: architectural and three tab. Architectural shingles last longer and are thicker, but are also more expensive.
8. Wind warranty on shingles
In areas where hurricanes are possible, the roof’s strength in high winds is important. Some wind speed warranties are limited to 60 mph while others will cover winds of up to 130 mph. Sears Home Services offers the Owens Corning Preferred Protection Warranty as the sole national provider.
9. What type of inspections are conducted?
Ask the contractor what type of inspections he performs to guarantee the quality of his work. Talk about the type of inspections that will be performed and how you can ensure your roof is installed to your satisfaction.
Some contractors including Sears Home Services–provide independent third-party inspections after installation, so you know you can trust the results.
10. Understanding the After-Sale Service
- After the installation, the quality of service is crucial. Here are some questions to ask.
- What is the duration of any satisfaction guarantee offered by the contractor?
- How do service calls get requested? Does it cost anything?
- Is the company going to be there in 10 years time if you ever need them?
We want to help you find the right roofing contractor for your needs. We are committed to providing you the information and resources you need to make an educated decision. Once you have the information you need, we’re confident you’ll be able to trust Sears Home Services for all the support you require throughout the entire process.