1. How can a homeowner recognize when a roof has problems?
All too often, roof problems are discovered after leaking or other serious damage occurs. Periodic (twice-a-year) inspections can often uncover cracked, warped, or missing shingles, loose seams and deteriorated flashings, excessive surface granules accumulating in the gutters or downspouts, and other visible signs of roof problems. Indoors, look for cracked paint, discolored plasterboard, and peeling wallpaper as signs of damaged roof areas.
2. What are my options if I decide to reroof?
You have two basic options. You can choose a complete replacement of the roof system, involving a tear-off of the old roof, or a re-cover over the existing roof, involving only the installation of a new membrane and surfacing. If you've already had one recover over your original roof, check with a professional roofing contractor to see if your roof deck can support a second recover. Typical building codes allow for a maximum of 2 layers of shingles on a typical dwelling.
3. My roof leaks. Do I need to have it totally replaced?
Not necessarily. Leaking can result because some flashings have come loose or because a section of the roof has been damaged. A roof failure, however, is generally irreversible and results from degraded roof materials, improper installation or choice of materials, or from the installation of a roof system inappropriate to the building.
4. Can't I just do the work myself?
Most work should not be do-it-yourself. Professional roofing contractors are trained to safely and efficiently repair or replace a roof. Novices can harm a roof with improper roofing techniques and severely injure themselves by falling off or even through a roof in need of repair or replacement. Homeowner maintenance should be confined to roof inspections in both the fall and spring to check for cracked or curling shingles, and to cleaning rain gutters filled with dead leaves and other debris. If you must see the roof for yourself, use a firmly braced or tied-off ladder equipped with rubber safety feet. Wear rubber-soled shoes and stay on the ladder (and off the roof) if possible.
5. How long can I expect my roof to last?
The condition and lifespan of your roof will depend on the type of roof you have, the effects of your local environment and the maintenance which the roof has received. Typically, asphalt shingles generally last 15-20 years; asphalt/fiberglass laminate shingles, 30-40 years; wood shingle/shakes, 10-40 years; clay/concrete tiles, 20+ years; slate, 30-100 years; metal roofing, 15-40+years. Roofing product manufacturers offer a variety of warranties on their products. Take a close look at those warranties to understand what responsibilities and financial obligations they will assume if their products fail to reach their expected lifetimes.
6. What will a new roof cost?
The price of a new roof varies widely, depending on the material selected, the contractor doing the
work, the home itself, area of the country, local labor rates, time of year, and more. To get a good idea of the cost for your roof, get three of four estimates from reputable contractors in your area. Keep in mind that cost is only one factor, and it must be balanced against the quality of the materials and workmanship. For each roofing material there are different grades - and corresponding prices, including a variety of styles and shapes. You need to look at the full product range and make a choice based on your budget and needs.
7. What should I look for in a contractor?
Within the roofing profession there are different levels of expertise and craftsmanship. Pick a contractor who is committed to quality work. Ask questions - make sure that you understand what work is being done, not being done and all differences between the different estimates/contracts. Acquire an understanding regarding additional work such as, plywood replacement and the disposal of unknown layers of shingles, and how this will be handled by the contractor. Ensure any contractor performing work on your property is properly insured with liability insurance and coverage under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
8. How can I determine my annual cost?
When researching your roofing options, the following formula may help:
Total Cost (materials and labor)/Life Expectancy of Roof (in years)=Annual Cost
1. How do I know if I have hail damage to my roof? Can I tell from the ground?
If you've had hail in your area, to determine if the shingles have been damaged, a close inspection of the shingles has to be made from the roof. Typical roof hail damage is not visible from the ground.
2. If I think I have hail damage what should I do?
Call your insurance company and ask for an adjuster to come inspect your roof for hail damage. Call a reputable roofing company and ask for the same inspection. If there are any discrepancies between the adjuster's findings and the roofer's findings you may call for a "RE-INSPECTION" where your adjuster meets with the roofer to go over the roof together. Re-inspections are very common.
3. What does hail do to a roof?
Shingles are designed so that the granules block the UV of the sun and protect the asphalt
underlayment. As the shingles age the granules fall off over time. As the asphalt is exposed to UV, it dries out and the shingle gets a "potato chip" appearance as the corners start to curl up. A shingle at the extreme end of its life is bubbled in appearance and is brittle to the touch. A 20-year shingle is warranteed by the manufacturer to have a useful life, under optimal ventilation conditions, of 20 years. Hail does several things:
Accelerates granule loss.
Accelerates shingle aging.
Voids manufacturer's warranties.
Leads to other associated problems.
4. Do I need to get my roof replaced right away?
The insidious nature of hail damage is that it may pose no immediate threat to the structural integrity of the roof. However, many insurance companies have a "statute of limitations" of how long a hail claim is viable. If you have experienced a loss such as hail damage it is prudent to take care of the problem in a timely manner before it leads to other associated problems.
5. What does a hail hit look like?
A hail hit on a shingle looks like a "bruise" or a dark spot where the granules on the shingle have been knocked off and the asphalt underlayment and sometimes the fiberglass mat is exposed. New hail hits will have a shiny appearance because the asphalt has been freshly exposed and has not had time to weather to a dull color.
6. Why would my insurance company replace my roof?
The purpose of home owner's insurance is to protect homeowners against losses in their property's value due to damage that is beyond their control. If you have hail damage, you have experienced a financial loss in that your original investment of a 20-year roof (for example) has now been reduced to a 5-10 year useful life span. Your insurance company will compensate you for your loss and replace your roof.
7. Why does the estimate read that there are more shingles to replace then there are to remove?
The amount of shingles to remove from your roof is the actual amount of square feet that it takes to shingle your roof. However, when putting on shingles, some shingles have to be cut to fit dimensions, ridges, hips and valleys. The insurance company adds 10% to regular ridge roofs and 15% to hip and ridge roofs to account for the loss of shingles.
8. My insurance adjuster said there was no hail damage on his first inspection, I asked NHC Roofing and Exterior’s estimator to call him and request to walk through a re-inspection with him. On the re-inspection the adjuster concluded that there was hail damage and "totaled" the roof. Why such a dramatic turn around?
There are many different reasons that this happens so often. The best results for the benefit of homeowner seem to be obtained when an experienced roofer walks through the inspection with the insurance adjuster and calls to the adjuster's attention any damage that he sees.