SO YOU NEED A NEW ROOF
There are many roofing companies to choose from in most urban areas. Many claiming multiple years in business or to have the most expertise. That said, one will quickly discover that from one roofing company to the next you may find big disparities in the work to be performed.
Roofing Compnay "X" may have the best price in their base proposal, but then offer multiple upgrades of: shingle types, underlayments, ventilation and flashings which can dramatically increase the price. What upgrades are necessary and which ones are not? How am I to know what my roof actually needs to properly protect my home from the elements for decades to come?
TAKE CONTROL OF THE PROCESS
A good roofing company prefers to work with a "roofing educated" customer. Where as a "just get the sale by any means" roofing company hopes you know nothing about the job at hand. This allows them to do the least amount of work possible to get your dollars and move on to the next gullible home owner.
LETS EDUCATE OURSELVES
There is no way a home owner can read one article and become a roofing authority, but the points below will cover the basics of what should be included in every roofing estimate or proposal from a true roofing professional:
- Complete removal and disposal of the existing: shingles, underlayment and vents.
- Inspection of roof deck for deficiencies or signs of rot.
- Removal and repair of any rotten decking on the roof surface (if any found).
- Install drip edge flashing to all eave edges - this helps prevent the dripping of water between the eaves trough and fascia.
- Installation of an Ice and Watershield Membrane to: all eaves edges and valleys, around skylights and mechanical vents. This self adhering membrane acts as a "waterproof gasket" for the roof, in areas of the highest amount of water traffic. More rows may be required to meet your specific slope or roof system requirements.
- Installation of an underlayment to cover the remainder of the roof deck which is not covered by the Ice and Watershield Membrane. The entire roof deck should be made "water tight" before the shingles are installed (slopes below 4/12 require "Low Slope Application" methods).
- Installation of shingles not only to manufactures specifications, but beyond. Laminate shingles should be installed using a "6 nail pattern", which qualifies the roof system for a "High Wind Rating" warranty.
- All passive air vents, mechanical vents (for bathroom and kitchen fans) and plumbing vents should be replaced with new. Your existing ventilation must be assessed to ensure your home meets current building code venting requirements. If more or different vents were required, it should be included in your estimate, not added as an option.
- All vents and roof protrusions sealed with caulking, all exposed nail heads (in vents and flashings) should also be sealed.
- Complete clean-up and removal of any and all roofing debris
- Perimeter of the building should be magnetically swept to ensure pick up of any dropped nails
- The renovation should be thoroughly Inspected by a qualified person from the company before being considered complete
- Most home roof renovations will take 1 to 2 days from start to completion
If any of the above points are not listed on the proposal, or are listed as options; the level of concern for your home may not be as important as the company's desire to get another job sold. It may also simply be the company is not as experienced as they claim to be, or do not know better. The roof is your home's first line of defence from the elements of mother nature. With today's technology, a quality roofing material can last up to 50 years and beyond. Do not take the investment of a roof renovation lightly, it a decision you will be living with for a very long time.
Well there you have it, Roofing 101 for the average home owner. Use the information to not only learn a little about roofing, but to judge the quality and professionalism of the company trying to earn your business. Good luck to you and your future renovation project.