You inspect your roof two times each year, as recommended by roofing contractors. During your routine inspection, you discover signs of damage that may be too severe just to replace the shingles, so you are looking at roof replacement. If you see evidence of water damage; missing, curled, or cracked shingles; granules in your gutters; broken or cracked flashing; or dark stains or discoloration, you may need to replace your entire roof. But this isn’t a decision that should be made lightly, and you should take care when choosing a roofer to do the job.
Here are five questions you should ask your roofer before installing a new roof to help you decide whether or not they are the right roofer for you:
1. Ask if You Need a Roofing Layover Instead of an Entire Roof Replacement
A roofing layover is when a roofing contractor nails new shingles on top of your existing shingles instead of removing them first. A reliable, professional roofing contractor will tell you that a roofing layover is not a good idea; be wary of anyone who tells you otherwise, because they are likely just out to make quick money.
A layover is like putting a bandage on a broken bone.. It will only fix the problem temporarily, leading to more damage in the long term. If you have found water damage, a roof layover can promote the growth of moss and mold, and cause related damage to spread faster across both new and old shingles. Layovers also restrict your ability to see any future roof damage.
2. Ask if You Need to Strip Your Roof Down to the Deck
Your roofer should be able to check the extent of the damage to your roof when they visit. If the damage is deep enough to affect the performance of the new roof, they will recommend repairing what’s underneath before installing the new roof.
The roofer will strip the roof back to the deck to make all damage more visible, and then repair it. They may recommend include underlayment, replacing old shingles, drip edges, ice and water protectors, and flashing. The contractor can check for any repairs the roof deck requires and fix those, too.
3. Ask them to Measure the Area of Your Roof
The area of your roof determines the amount of material you need, as well as the duration of the job. Your professional roofing contractor will visit your house to measure your roof, and tell you the estimated square footage of your roof.
4. Ask About Your Options for Roofing Materials
Your roofing contractor can inform you about premium quality shingles and roofing materials. Once they have guided you on the type of shingles and roofing materials will be the best fit your roof replacement, you can shop around to find affordable materials with a warranty.
Some of the roofing materials you can choose from include solar tiles, asphalt shingles, metal roofing, slate roofing, stone coated steel, rubber slate, and clay and concrete tiles, all of which have ample advantages and disadvantages. Going with premium quality roofing material decreases the likelihood of having to replace your roof again in the near future. If you have to call roofers to repair and maintain your roof more times than necessary, having a new roof can become costly.
5. Ask If They Will Reuse Old Flashings or Install New Flashings
You should ask your roofer if they will reuse old flashings or install new flashings. A reliable roofer will always opt to install new flashings. They will remove and measure the current flashings on your roof. Before they install the new flashings, they will custom bend them.
Old flashings complement the shingles of your old roof and also require replacement over time. If you do not replace them when you are installing your new roof, it can cause more damage.
If they start to rust and leak, it can cause more damage to your roof and home. A roofer with years of experience will always recommend replacing your old flashings with new flashings. If a roofer tells you the opposite, you should find someone else to replace your roof.
The way that a roofer answers these questions should help you decide whether or not you will choose them to install your roof. A roofing company that has been in the business for years and comes highly recommended by people will never recommend a roof replacement if only a few repairs are necessary to fix it.
Making the wrong choice can cost you a lot of money down the line in repairs and maintenance, so do your research and make the right decision the first time around.
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