Roofing Buyers Guide
Today on the blog, Daniel and Jonathan Wyatt share some great information that will help you make the best decision when it comes to replacing or installing a new roof on your home.
Is it Time to Replace Your Roof?
Let’s start at the beginning. How do you know when it’s time to replace your roof? Some of the simple things you can look for are missing shingles on your roof, shingles on the ground around your home, shingle granules in your gutters or shingle granule buildup on the ground around your home, especially at the bottom of your gutter downspouts.
These are easily identifiable problems that you can see before they manifest into bigger issues, like leaks inside your home. Catching the damage in these early stages can make a world of difference when it comes to your roof.
When to Address a Roofing Problem
The short answer – immediately. Through the obvious signs listed above or through an official roof inspection, you know that you have roof damage. Once you are sure, it’s time to take action to have your roof repaired or replaced. All too often, replacements are put off by homeowners, but there are many risks associated with waiting too long to replace a damaged roof.
According to Jonathon Wyatt, “If your roof is leaking in one or two spots that are evident, there are going to be several different spots – 10, 15, 20 different spots – that are leaking that you cannot see.” And if you cannot see those spots, rest assured that they are holding water, creating a breeding ground for black mold spores and rot. Problems like this can quickly grow and are going to cost thousands of dollars to remove or repair in the long run, not to mention the other hazards they may bring to your home environment.
Annual Roof Inspection
Here at In His Hands Contractors, we definitely recommend a roofing inspection at least on an annual basis, if not twice a year. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends a bi-annual roof inspection to ensure the quality of your roof. Many roofing companies, including our own, offer affordable roof inspections. In His Hands inspections are just $99.00 for a thorough investigation of all the points of your roofing. This includes the roof valleys, hips, and any other stress points where the roof is most likely to wear over time. A professional inspector will be able to identify any potential problems early on so that they can be addressed promptly.
When it comes to roofing inspections, try to stay away from any free offers you come across. Many companies may present this as an option, but oftentimes, they’re either looking to sell you something or create an insurance claim that doesn’t exist. An inspection offer that falls around that $99.00 mark means that you are much more likely to get what you’re paying for – a good, thorough inspection of your roof. Contact us today to schedule your roofing inspection.
Roof Replacement Process
Professional Roof Installation
Why should you hire a professional to put on your asphalt shingle or metal roof? Replacing your roof yourself is the equivalent to replacing the engine in your car – not likely a job you would take on yourself! You should always hire a professional to ensure that the job is done well. A professional company or contractor will undoubtedly have all the correct tools and experience to do the work effectively and efficiently and to give you a product that will last as long as possible.
Choosing a Roofing Company or Contractor
When preparing to repair your roof damage or replace your roof entirely, we recommend that homeowners collect at least three estimates, and sometimes up to five. While the cost can vary, gathering estimates gives you a better handle on how much a quality job will cost in your area. Doing this obviously allows you to compare different price ranges and bids from contractors or companies. What homeowners should really look for in the estimates they receive is a good, thorough description of the work. This proposal should detail all of the work that is included in the estimated cost, because homeowners need a total package deal that ensures all aspects of the roof replacement will be covered.
You should never take a bid just because it’s the cheapest option. Many times, doing this leads to inadequate work and repairs and ultimately, to a greater expense for you. For example, a proposal that seems more cost-effective may in fact be a bid to just throw another layer of shingles on top of the old layer and not replace the old felt on the roof, knocking $500 off the price quoted to you. But clearly, also not delivering the quality results you need when replacing your roof. Be aware, look for those details and compare the estimates by their breakdown, not only by the price tag.
Always ask if the contractor has any references available. Any contractor or company that cares about their clients and the quality of the work and services they offer will have references available. Another good thing to research when choosing a contractor are any online reviews and referrals. 99% of the time if a contractor has done good, quality work on one resident’s house, they will do the same on your house. Checking out those referrals allows you to ensure that you get your money’s worth for the work being done on your roof.
Always Sign a Contract
Once you have made a decision based on estimates and references, the next step is to make sure you sign a written contract with the company or contractor who will be doing the work and repairs. Just like anything else – a gym membership, a new car purchase – a signed contract is the best way to detail the work agreement and to protect yourself and the contractor. If you are working with a professional or a professional company, they will ensure that written contract is in place.
The contract ensures that you as the client can hold the contractor or company to all the work they have agreed to do. For both the client and the contractor, this a reference through the entire work process to ensure that the work goes as planned and that all parties are protected financially in case of any issues. We may all like to do business with just a handshake and a promise, but a written contract with signatures from all parties is the best – and safest – way to move forward with your roof replacement.
Insurance and Liability
When discussing roof repair or replacement with a company or contractor, be sure that they are licensed, bonded and insured. It’s important to ask about and know the amount the company is insured for, especially in relation to your home. Not every insurance policy carried by a company or contractor will cover the full amount of damage in case something happens to your home. For example, if during the replacement process your roof ends up with $250,000 worth of damage, but you’ve entered into a contract with a company that’s only insured for up to $100,000, you could be looking at some really big expenses. Ask to see proof of insurance and do your research here to make sure the process goes smoothly, even if something goes wrong along the way.
No matter the type of home you have, we always recommend a three dimensional roof. It’s going to be more durable, longer-lasting, hail resistant and will have a higher wind rating. As with anything, there is a range of options from economical and lower grade to high-cost, high-quality products whether you choose a shingle or metal option.
If you are looking at shingles, be sure to keep the manufacturer in mind. Here at In His Hands, we highly recommend Atlas shingles. This company is the best out there. They very good at what they do, are innovative with their work and always instill confidence in their products. Atlas shingles are really the best product out there for the price.
The highest quality metal option is the Stand and Seam. This is a really durable roof option with a completely hidden fastener system and a lifespan of up to nearly 70 years. You won’t have to worry about seeing the screws on your roof or having the screws back out, loosening the roofing. The durability of this roof is the best option if you live on a bluff or have a tall home as it will combat that wind uplift. It’s one of the highest quality products out there.
The corrugated or tuff-rib option is great as well and offers a more economical approach to replacing your roof. This roof comes with up to a 40 year manufacturer warranty on top of the labor warranty the contractor will provide you. This roof is less durable than the Stand and Seam option and will likely require screw replacement once or twice during its lifespan.
Thanks for stopping by today! Hopefully the information in this Roofing Buyers Guide has been helpful!
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