Q. What are my options if I need a new roof?
A: You have two basic options: Either a complete replacement of the roof system, involving a tear-off of the existing roof system; or re-cover the existing roof system with a new roof. Generally, a complete replacement of the roof is needed if you have already had several re-covers.
Q. What are the advantages of hiring a roofing contractor?
The #1 key ingredient to a good roof is proper installation. The best roofing materials in the world are worthless if they are installed incorrectly. The advantages of having a property installed roof can be far more then the initial cost in the long run.
What does the weight of shingles mean?
The weight is literally the amount of weight - in pounds - that 100 square feet of shingles weighs (a square of shingles - see next question). 240 lb weight shingles literally means a 10 foot by 10 foot spread of shingles will weigh 240 pounds. In general the higher the weight the thicker the shingle will be. Thicker shingles generally cost more and last longer.
What does a square of material mean?
A square is the amount of material (shingles) that will cover 100 square feet of roof (i.e. 10 foof by 10 foot area.)
How can I tell if serious damage is occurring if I can’t see it?
A professional roofing company should inspect your roof every one to three years, especially if your roof is over 15 years old. The sun does the most damage to your roof.
Are there any signs that indicate that my roof needs attention?
There is at least one that is readily detectable if you look for it. If the shingles are dried out and break almost at the touch, you can be sure you’ll need a new roof before long. Shingles at this stage are likely to fail to prevent water penetration.
What signs should I look for that indicate trouble?
Blistered or curled shingles indicate that a roof is aging. It should be watched carefully. Another subtle sign is excessive loss of the surface granules (colored gritty material). Look for them in the rain gutters or near the down spouts if they empty on the ground.
Dont climb up on your roof unless its unavoidable. Ladders are dangerous, roofs can be slippery and walking on an old roof can accelerate the deterioration. In the event you must go on your roof its recommended to wear rubber soled shoes, use a ladder in good repair and avoid climbing up in bad weather (snow, ice, rain or wind).
After I decide to have a new roof put on, whats the next step?
Its a good step to do your own investigating before contacting roofing companies. This will give you better idea as to their thoroughness and honesty on inspecting and reporting on your roof. Do your homework before hiring a roofing company; contact the local chamber of commerce, better business bureau and Labor/Index. These are all free resources for you (see our helpful links section for more information).
Ask for references from the roofing company and contact them directly. Be sure to ask those references if they themselves know of other people who have used the contractors services so you can contact people outside of those listed by the contractor. A good contractor will have lots of word of mouth references and referrals.
Get any quotes in writing with details on what specific work will be done and what specific materials will be used. The brand names and manufacturer specifications will help in comparing material quality between bids.
What is the most important information I should know about my shingles?
One of the most important things to now about basic roofing is the type of material, and its weight. You must also decide upon texture and pattern that pleases you and suits the house and its surroundings. Color is the final consideration.
Shingle color can look different from being on a complete roof as opposed to looking at a small sample in your home. For a better idea of how the shingles will look on your house, you should try to view other houses with the shingles installed.
Is there a direct relationship between the weight of a shingle and its quality?
For example, does 300 Ib shingle mean its better than 240 lb shingle?
Generally the heavier the shingle the longer it will withstand the elements.
What does the Fire Resistance rating mean?
Fire resistance is an important feature to consider in selecting roof material. Each bundle of shingles carries a label from the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., on which the classification rating for fire resistance of the shingle appears.
Roofing that is classified as C has proven resistance to ignition, will not easily support combustion, and will not give off burning embers of its own. A rating of B and A means the shingles are even more resistant to combustion. Only fiberglass shingles carry the top A rating.
Is there any difference between 240 lb and 365 lb shingles other than texture?
Yes. The 240 lb roofing is guaranteed for 25 years, while the 365 lb shingle is guaranteed for 40 years.
Is there anything I should know about wind resistance and my roof?
All shingles contain an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) rating for resisting high winds. All UL approved shingles have withstood 2 hours of continuous wind testing. Some shingles contain a special sealant that reacts with sunlight to bond all the shingles into a single sheet. This type of shingle is extremely wind resistant. UL wind resistant ratings appear on a label with a bundle of shingles near the fire rating.
What is the least expensive way for me to have a quality roof?
The largest factor in material expense is how long the materials are warranted to last. Using less expensive materials will reduce the inital cost but end up costing you the most money in the long run.
What colors should I consider when selecting my roof?
The color shingles you select will have a big impact on your house. You will want to coordinate roof colors with the other materials and colors on your home which includes trim, siding, brick, etc. Unless you are willing to repaint your home youll want to choose a color that coordinates with your existing colors.
Light colors tend to draw the eye, add height and size. This can be very useful for one-story buildings. Dark shades have the opposite effect and can work well with two-story buildings. White goes with every color and reflects sun and heat from your roof. Soft earth and wood tones are the most popular shingles colors.