10 Roofing FAQs

10 Roofing FAQs

Having a new roof put on your home is a once -maybe twice- in a lifetime purchase, which is why it's not shocking that not everyone knows a whole lot about roofing. It is critical to do some research when considering replacement. Below are 10 frequently asked questions from homeowners, and the answers you've been looking for. 

1- What roofing company should I hire?
Prospective roofers should be able (and willing) to supply you with the following information. If any of them can’t, eliminate them from your list. Do they have:
  • A permanent office or place of business with a working phone number,
  • A tax i.d and business license number,
  • Workers compensation and liability insurance certificates,
  • Valid references, positive online reviews and addresses of homes that you can view to check workmanship / quality,
  • Memberships to the NRCA, WSRA and BBB. (While not all roofers are members, competent, solid roofers will often be a member of at least one of these). 
When it comes to your roof, it is always the better choice to go with the most reputable choice, not the best price. Choosing a roofer based on the price can end up costing you double. 

2- Can I DIY it?
These days, you can go online and find a tutorial on how to do just about anything yourself. But if you’ve ever actually tried to do some of the things you’ve seen, then you know that trial and error inevitably takes place. The roof of your home isn’t one of those things that you should just go alone, trial and error can cause significant damage and put the interior of your home at risk. Roofing a home is a dangerous task that can take a full crew of qualified roofers, with professional equipment, days to complete. Going it alone is almost always a bad idea, when it comes to your re-roofing project, we suggest leaving it to the professionals.  

3- If my roof is leaking, do I have to replace it?
It really depends on a number of factors, like the roofs age, the cause of the leak, what kind of roof you have and how much of the roof will need repaired. If the roofs installation was done poorly and no repair will alleviate the issue, replacement will be necessary. If the roof has reached or is approaching the end of it’s lifespan, repairs won’t be recommended. If the area causing damage has been left neglected, it may be too late for a simple repair. By having annual general maintenance performed on your roof, you can find and fix repairs before they become unfixable. 

4- How can I spot roof damage?
If a strong storm with high winds blows through your town, it’s a good idea to check your roof once it’s passed. With a pair of binoculars (and from the ground) look over your roof and see if you can distinguish and obvious signs of damage, like missing shingles for instance. If you don’t see any obvious damage but see a leak forming on your ceiling, it’s important to address it right away. Leaks left neglected will create dangerous conditions in your home.  

5- How much will a new roof cost?
This one is dependent on the type of roof you have, the companies labor costs and roofing materials. Asphalt shingles are the most common and affordable option on the market for pitched roofs, but you’ll surely pay more for slate, clay tile and wood shakes. If you have a flat roof, Tar and Gravel is the ol’ faithful that lasts decades, is most affordable and requires very little maintenance. But there are many material options on the market specifically designed for the troubles flat roofs face, so make sure to ask the roofer what system will be most beneficial for your homes location and it’s climate.  

6- Why do the proposals I have differ so greatly?
It’s not at all unusual to see substantial variances in roofing quotes. depending on the quoted materials, the companies labor cost, warranty and reputation, the price is due to vary by each company. 

7- How long will my roof last?
The lifespan of a roof will vary greatly depending on what they're made out of, where you live, and maintenance. 
  • Asphalt shingles have an average lifespan of approximately 20 years, 
  • Wood shingles and shakes approximately 30+ years, 
  • Slates, Clay Tiles, Concrete & Metal roofs are known to last decades longer, up to 70-100 years+. 
  • Flat roof materials vary in lifespan same as pitched. 
  • Tar & Gravel has the longest lifespan with 30+ years (even though we’ve heard of tar & gravel roofs that last years longer),
  • TPO with 10+ years, 
  • EPDM Rubber can last 15+ years and 
  • Modified Bitumen that can last 15+ years. 
Give or take a few years for each depending on brand, where you live and if you maintain your roof properly. 

8- How do I know if I need a new roof?
When trying to determine whether your roof needs replacing, start by grabbing a pair of binoculars and look up!  
Do you see any visible signs of deterioration? Obvious signs are: 
  • Cupping, curling or crumbling shingles
  • Missing, torn or blown off shingles 
  • Rusted flashings
  • Algae, Moss or Mold
Do you notice your roof sagging? How about any noticeable rot? How old is the roof?All of these factors contribute to your roof having reached the end of its lifespan. It’s a good time to call in a professional roofer if you see any of the above.

9- How long will installation take?
The length of time it will take to install your new roof depends on the design of your roof, how large the roof is, and what material is being installed. Other variants can depend on the size of the crew working and whether unforeseen obstacles are found (like dry rot for ex.). It’s safe to set at least a week aside for your new roof to be installed.

10- Can I cover my current roof with another roof?
This is another subject we’ve touched on previously, while yes, it is possible, you should NEVER choose this option. Without tearing the old roof off, you’ll never be able to know if there is damage to the underlayment, which could be hiding serious issues. When considering a new roof, always choose the option to tear off and start fresh with new materials.