When you call our office to make an appointment for an estimate on a new roof, you will be asked the following questions:
- What style of house do you have?
- Have you seen a certain style of roof that you liked?
- When do you see yourself making a decision on your home project?
- Will all people that have input on the decision be present for the demonstration?
- Will our Financing Services be Of Interest to You?
We ask these questions so we can be fully prepared to meet your needs. After the estimate is confirmed we will meet with you in your home to further discuss your needs and propose appropriate options. We will show you a sample of the roofing products and describe the roof replacement process. We will take measurements, ask for design choices and provide you with a written estimate before we leave your home.
Most people don’t even look at their roof; much less consider it a valuable aspect of their home. It’s understandable that homeowners are more interested in the layout of their kitchens and bathrooms, the living room, dining area and the outdoor aesthetics of beautiful windows and patio doors, which we can happily discuss with you! Even the garage can carry more importance for homeowners.
But considering your roof covers everything important to you, you should make an effort to understand the importance of proper installation and roofing solution. The two most important structural aspects of your home are the roof and foundation. Everything else is merely decorative and/or a matter of taste and functionality. Homeowners often only consider the quality of a roof when there is a leak, or you notice (too late) excessive shingle wear and other problems.
Proper Attic Ventilation
Most homeowners – and even some experienced builders and contractors – believe the purpose of attic ventilation is to remove heat that builds up in the summer.
While that’s true, attic ventilation is extremely important year-round. During colder months, ventilation reduces moisture to help keep attics dry. On a typical summer day, the temperature on the surface of your roof can reach as high as 170-degrees. The floor of your attic can reach up to 140-degrees, making the rooms directly below uncomfortable and expensive to cool. Proper insulation is also a huge factor to consider. But even proper insulation only protects the living areas from losing heat and/or sealing cool air. The air in the attic must be circulated and vented in order to prevent early failure of your roof.
In winter months, moisture from home activity (showering, cooking, and even breathing) rises and can affect your sheeting unless it is vented continually from the area. This requires airflow and a balanced system of intake and exhaust. There are several ways to achieve this.
Allow for the intake of air and for air to flow through vent chutes into your attic. There are different kinds and styles, but all should be specific for the type of roof you have. You should have a minimum of half as many openings for intake as you have exhaust.
Allow for the exhaust of the circulated air in your attic. The vent is placed over a cut in your peak and is the best way to achieve a balanced system of airflow. Not all ridge vents are created equal, though. Metal ridge vents are often the cause of leaks and can be easily damaged.
These are found in the upper peak areas on the sides of homes, but many are not powered by exhaust fans. They are often not placed high enough to allow the higher temperatures and moisture to escape the attic.
There are a lot of other products to help achieve a balanced system of attic airflow, but there is no one-size fits all solution. Attic ventilation is also extremely important to the warranty requirements of your shingle manufacturer. Every warranty on the market today is tied to proper ventilation of your roof.
Homeowners should never shop by shingle alone. All shingles are not created equal. There are literally hundreds of options for homeowners to consider when opting for a typical roof replacement. Unfortunately, many homeowners are misinformed about many of these products and their perceived value. From asphalt shingles, wood shake, composites, metal sheeting, rubber, slate and other systems…there are hundreds of options and myths about each. Additionally, many homeowners have had bad experiences with each that can shape their opinion when it comes to choosing their options. Consult with a qualified contractor on the value and drawbacks of each before you decide. Some of the basic myths about the most popular types are included below.
Types of Shingles
Both organic cardboard asphalt shingles and fiberglass shingles are made from asphalt. All contain the same granular and other material adhered to a type of mat…either cardboard or fiberglass. These are generally the most popular choice for homeowners, but carry with them more myths and misunderstandings.
The 25, 40, 50-year Shingle
Homeowners can become easily confused in the representations of the warranty and lifetime claims of manufacturers. Be sure to read all of the material presented with each product you choose.
Does Color Matter?
Only in the decision on the design of your exterior does the color of the shingle make a difference. While the claim can be made that a lighter color shingle will reflect sunlight, the difference between a white shingle and a black shingle is very small (about 4%) in high quality shingles and will not be noticed by most homeowners. Among cheaper versions, color does have an impact.
Think About Gutters
A roof is designed with the purpose of removing water as fast as possible from the surface. That means a gutter system is essential to any proper roof installation since it ultimately carries the water away from your building. Gutters can also damage a roof if they don’t effectively move the water (and ice in the winter time) or are installed improperly. Most often, the lack of a preventive barrier of ice and water underlayments behind gutters can be the cause of early sheeting damage and the formation of ice dams.
Consider Price Only / Comparison Shopping
A homeowner who shops for a roofing contractor by price alone is making a huge mistake. Unless the homeowner is educated, a lower price generally guarantees lower value materials, workmanship, and overall lower integrity of the roof. In the competition among roofing contractors, there are many factors that can have an immense impact on preparing estimates and bids. Because advertising of shingle products have been so effective, many homeowners believe a 25-year shingle will last 25-years…regardless of the way it was installed. That’s simply not the case.
Installing a roof on a home or business is very much like performing major surgery. If you care about the health of your home, be prepared to consider the best possible technicians and “roof surgeons” you can find. In the end, the price you pay will be worth it.