Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I know when my roof needs repair?
A. It is wise for home and building owners to conduct roof inspections periodically. For safety purposes these checks should be done from the ground with the aid of binoculars. Any irregularities in the roof system should be noted. Signs of damage vary depending on the type of roof, however cracked, broken, missing, curling, or torn shingles typically indicate a roof in distress. Leaking is another sign that your roof system has become compromised.
Q. I think my roof may need to be replaced. What should I do?
A. Contact a roofing installation professional at the first signs of roof damage. They have the skills and knowledge to advise you about the best course of action. Click here to find roof installation experts in your area.
Q. My roof is leaking, will the whole thing need to be replaced?
A. In some cases leaking may be caused by repairable issues. A roof installation professional can advise you on whether or not your roof can be repaired. In cases of a total roof system failure a complete roof replacement is the only way to ensure structural integrity.
Q. If I decide to get a new roof does the old roof have to be completely removed?
A. Depending on the type of roof you have your old roof may not need to be torn-off. Local building codes, material specifications and safety standards dictate when it is appropriate to cover over an existing roof and when tear-off is required.
Q. I am on a tight budget. Can I do roof installation myself to save money?
A. Roof installation is a skill. While it may seem like a money-saver to handle roof installation on your own, it will likely cost more in the long run due to necessary repairs. Furthermore, an improperly installed roof will often void manufacturer warranties. Roofing contractors offer knowledge and practical expertise when it comes to all aspects of roof installation. Investing in a properly installed roof system is highly recommended.
Q. How long will my new roof system last?
A. The useful life of a roof system varies widely depending on the type of roof system installed. As a general rule, new roof systems should last for at least 20 years. Roofs made of slate, clay tile and certain metals can last for 50, 75 and even 100 years. It should be noted that climatic and environmental conditions, material grade, proper building and roof system design, correct application techniques, proper ventilation and insulation and sufficient roof system maintenance all play a key role in extending the serviceable lifespan of any roof system.
Q. How much will a new roof cost me?
A. The cost of a new roof system depends in large part on the roof materials used. Asphalt shingles offer budget-minded consumers a dependable, attractive roof system for as little as $135 per square installed and more. A square is a ten foot by ten foot section of roof (or 100 square feet). Other types of roof systems, for example slate and clay tile, are significantly higher priced but last longer and are more appealing to some consumers. A roofing installation professional is a wonderful resource to assist you in finding a quality roof system that fits nicely in your budget.
Q. What factors should I consider when selecting a roof system?
A. With the many styles and types of roof systems available today choosing a roof system can be somewhat overwhelming. Consumer’s should be pleased to learn that almost any style can be achieved at any price-point, as asphalt roof shingles and rubber roof shingles are manufactured to mimic the look of more expensive roofing materials. Deciding on the aesthetic characteristics of your desired roof system can be done by looking at houses in your area and determining which styles and colors will best suit your property. A roofing contractor will provide you with information as to the type of roof systems best suited to your geographic, structural and budgetary needs.
Q. How do I know if the roof system I like meets local building codes?
A. Professional roofing contractors should have this information available to you. Your local government agencies should also be able to assist you in gathering information about building material codes.
Q. What types of roofing are available?
A. Common roof types include asphalt shingle roofs, wood shake and wood shingle roofs, clay tile roofs, concrete tile roofs, slate roofs, rubber shingle roofs, metal roofs, commercial single-ply roofs, solar roofs and green roofs.
Q. Are there any roofs made of recycled materials?
A. In some cases metal roofs are made from recycled metal. Rubber shingle roofs are manufactured from recycled tires. Wood shakes and wood shingles are almost always made from salvaged logs and logs discarded after logging.
Q. Why should I hire a roofing contractor?
A. When investing in a new roof it only makes sense to ensure the safe and proper installation of the roof system. A roofing contractor can guide you in selecting a roof type as well as ensure proper installation to extend your new roof’s useful life and provide you with a maximum return on your investment.
Q. What are some basic things to ask a potential roofing contractor?
A. When selecting a roofing contractor it is important to ask a lot of questions. You should always ask for and check client references. You should also ensure that your roofing contractor is operating a professional business with proper licenses and required insurance. To learn more about how to select the best roofing contractor for your roof installation project click here.
Q. What type of warranty will my new roof system provide?
A. Roofing systems typically come with a warranty against manufacturing defects. Make sure you read and understand the warranty provided, especially situations that can void the warranty. Your roofing contractor should provide a warranty to cover installation as most roof system warranties will only cover the roofing material. Be sure your contractor provides you with a warranty certificate for your records.
Q. Are roofing contractors required to offer an industry standard workmanship warranty?
A. While offering a warranty on roof installation is common practice there is no required industry standard for workmanship warranties. Selecting a qualified roofing contractor with experience installing your desired roof system is important. Be sure to ask questions and fully understand the workmanship warranty offered on your roof installation.
Q. If someone is injured while installing my roof can I be held liable?
A. Homeowners who select uninsured or inadequately insured roofing contractors may be liable for personal injuries that occur during the course of roof installation. When selecting a contractor be sure to verify their insurance coverage. Make certain that their insurance will remain effective for the duration of your roof replacement or roof installation project.
Q. What information should be included in an estimate or quote for roof installation?
A. In addition to the price, your roofing estimate should include details about the roof system to be installed and the application and installation methods used for your specific roof system. The estimate should also include approximate start and end dates. Upon request, the roofing contractor will include a Roofing Qualification Statement in conjunction with the work estimate. This form provides written information about the contractors’ work in progress, finances, references, companies and insurance.
Q. I’ve noticed roofing materials and installation priced per “square.” What does this mean?
A. Roof material and roof installation pricing are set per “square.” In the roofing industry a “square” represents a 10’x10′ roof section.
When investigating and selecting roof systems and roof installation professionals it is helpful to understand commonly used roofing terms.
Drainage: Drainage is the aspect of a roof system which allows the roof to shed water. It refers to design features such as slope, shape and layout.
Fasteners: The mechanisms used to attach a roof covering to the building are called fasteners. Nails are the most common type of fasteners used in roof replacement and roof installation, however certain roof systems require alternative types of fasteners.
Felt Paper: This term refers to the underlayment component of the roof assembly. It provides secondary waterproofing and weatherproofing for the roof.
Flashing: The flashing consists of sheet material and other materials installed at various points to prevent water from seeping through the roof to the underlying structures.
Ice Dam Membrane: This is an additional part of roof assembly underlayment. It is not routinely installed except in climates known for extend periods of extreme cold. The purpose of an ice dam membrane is to protect the roof system from damage caused when snow melts and then refreezes at the edges of the roof.
Pitch: The pitch refers to the angle of a roof. A roof referred to at pitched is considered to have a steep slope. The pitch of roof is usually given in degrees.
Rafters: The set of sloping beams which form the framework and supports for pitched roofs are called rafters.
Roof Assembly: The roof assembly is composed of the three components; a roof deck, an underlayment and a roof covering.
Roof Covering: The outermost layer, which provides primary water-shedding and waterproofing is referred to as the roof covering.
Roof Deck: This is an underlying structural layer frequently made of plywood or oriented strand board.
Roof Structure: The roof structure is made up of rafters and trusses constructed to support the outermost layer of the home or building.
Roof System: The complete roof system composed of the roof structure, sheathing, roof covering, flashing and drainage.
Sheathing: The sheathing are the boards or sheet materials which connect to the rafters and make up the covering of the structure.
Slope: The slope of a roof refers to its steepness. Flat-roofs have no slope, low-slope roofs are easy to walk on, medium-slope roofs are probably the most commonly seen roof type, and steep-slope roofs are very distinctive looking and would be difficult to walk on. The slope of a roof is measured in degrees.
Thermal Shock: Thermal shock is the label used to describe roof system damage resulting from rapid temperature change.
Truss: The rigid framework designed to support a roof structure is called a truss.
Underlayment: Also referred to as “paper” or “felt” the underlayment provides temporary weatherproofing to the roof deck and underlying roof structures during roof installation. After roof installation is complete the underlayment functions as a secondary layer of waterproof and weatherproofing for the roof system.