Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Winter's toll: Leaks not the only sign a roof might need repair

The winter has taken a toll on many roofs.
Maybe there's a tell-tale leak, but sometimes problems are harder to spot.
When the snow melts, it's a good time to take stock.
Identifying problems
John Galeotafiore, associate director of home improvement testing for Consumer Reports, recommends that homeowners take out a pair of binoculars and check the roof from street level. Roofing contractors also can be hired to inspect the roof.
Do you see any missing shingles? Are some of them curled or cracked? Are there pieces of flashing missing?
Dirty or splotchy shingles also can be a sign of a problem, says Jim Englehart, senior merchant for building materials at Home Depot. "It's indicative of the granules being worn away," he said.
Weather-related damage can include ice damming, when water backs up under the shingles, ices and then begins to melt.
High winds can dislodge shingles or the flashing around chimneys or skylights.
Repair or replace?
Age is one factor in deciding whether to repair or replace a roof.
"If the roof is about 20 years old and you're getting leaks, you're probably going to have to change it," Galeotafiore said.
You might be able to patch newer roofs if the damage is limited.
"It gets down to aesthetics," Englehart said. "If it's on the front side of the house, I don't want to patch. The patch is going to be a different color."
Sometimes, new shingles can be layered over an existing asphalt roof, saving some labor costs. But no more than two layers total is advised, in part because of the added weight on the home.
Roof types
Most homes in the United States have a pitched roof. Asphalt shingles make up a large share of the market, but some roofs are slate, metal or a composite material. Wood shakes and tile also are used.
A lot depends on your aesthetics and your budget. "You could spend an extra $30,000 for real slate or wood shakes — or you could get a similar look for much less," Consumer Reports said.
And then there's geography. "Different kinds of material will perform better in different climates," said Bill Good, executive vice president of the National Roofing Contractors Association.
In the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, he said, a lot of asphalt shingle is used. Asphalt shingles come in two main types: three-tab shingles, which are a single layer, or laminated or architectural shingles, which are thicker.
But strong sun can take a toll on asphalt roofs, so in Florida and the Southwest, roofs are frequently made of tile, according to the National Roofing Contractors Association. In New England, you see a lot of slate because that's where it's quarried, according to Good.
Composite shingles are made to look like slate or wood shakes. "The look would be as close as you could get to the real thing," said Mark Hansen, vice president of sales and marketing for DaVinci Roofscapes, based in Lenexa, Kan. The company uses a high-performance polymer for its roofing materials.
Metal roofs range from steel to copper and other materials, either in panels or in shingles similar in size to asphalt shingles. Good said they last a long time, and "also tend to be reflective, so they can help with energy conservation inside the home."
Check a roofing material's weight to make sure it's OK for your home.
Picking a contractor
Replacing a roof is probably not a job homeowners want to do themselves, experts agree.
Good recommends talking to two or three contractors before deciding on one. Besides comparing prices and warranties, check that the company is insured and has a permanent place of business.
It's also good practice to ask for references, Good said.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tips to Help Choose the Best Roofing Contractor For Your Roof

It is common knowledge that you lose heat through your head.  That is why we wear hats when it is cold out. Did you know the same thing is true when it comes to your home?  The roof of your home is its primary defense against the elements.  In order to protect the interior of your home, to keep the heat and cold in, your roofs “hat” needs to be kept in prime shape.  In order to achieve this it is important that you select the right roofing contractor to replace or repair your shingle roof.
Skill comes from experience, this is not a secret.  To become a better ball player you need to play ball, you need to practice.  The same is true when it comes to installing and repairing roofs.  When you are looking for a roofing contractor you must look into their experience.  When a roofer has worked for many years they will have seen and dealt with a variety of issues.  This will allow them to more effectively deal with the problem areas within your roof.  Find a skilled roofer that offers a proven track record when it comes to the installation and repair of your roof.
Licensed and Insured
This is true of any contractor working on your home, they need to be insured and be able to show proof of insurance.  Check within your state regarding specific licensing regulations to make sure that your preferred contractor meets these regulations.  You can also consult with the local Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for information on the roofer’s background.  To avoid issues down the road ask for a copy of these requirements to keep along with any written estimates.
Detailed Estimates
Roofing contractors with experience, ones that are licensed and insured will always provide honest, detailed quotes and estimate to their clients.  All proposals should come in writing and should be signed by a representative of the roofing company that is estimating your job.  The estimate should come with defined beginning and ending dates along with specifics on materials, labor costs and precise payment procedures.
Project Quality and Supervision
When talking with roofing contractors you can get a feel about their professionalism based on how the talk to you and treat their work as well as their employees.  Quality projects come from people that value their work.  Pay attention to the way the contractor addresses your concerns, look for both verbal and nonverbal clues to check for trustworthiness.
Choosing an experienced, trusted roofing contractor that comes highly recommended and loves what they do will ensure you unyielding results and the customer service you desire.
Home Pro Roofing contractors offer a variety of roofing services throughout Brighton, East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Fenton and Commerce Township, including installation of shingle roofs, metal roofing and roof repairs.  You will find them at today.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Keeping Your Roof In Shape Before, During and After the Storm

The one thing we are familiar with in the northeast is the fact that storms are going to be a part of our lives and our homes.  After a storm has passed you may think you are in the clear.  This however is not the case.  We know another storm will come and because of that we need to ensure that we maintain and prepare ourselves and our homes for the next one.  To ensure our homes are protected from passing storms we need to do a thorough check to make sure our homes roof and windows are ready.
Before the Storm
The first thing that you should do is to hire a professional roof contractor to establish a norm for your homes roof.  It is better to begin the storm season with a roof that is in top shape.  A roofing contractor can access your homes roof and repair areas of weakness before the storm.  Repairing areas that are weak will help prevent damage from occurring; if damage occurs during a storm it will less likely be severe because of the preventative maintenance that took place.
After the Storm
Preventing major damage is key when maintaining your homes roof.  This is true even after a storm has passed.  It is important that you continue to protect and safeguard the roof after each storm has come and gone.  The first thing that needs to be done after you are sure that the risk of danger is gone is assess any current damage.  See how much damage was done during the storm, if any.  If any shingles have been damaged or torn off it is important that roof repairs are performed by a professional roofing contractor.  Repairs need to occur before the next storm; it is vital to prevent major damage during the next storm.
If the storm was substantial it is important to look for hidden damage.  If you are unable to assess the top of the roof it is crucial to have a roofing contractor out to review the roof for cracks and hidden faults.  Immediate action is needed to ensure that the damage doesn’t cause further issues especially for the interior of your home.
Before the Next Storm
Depending on the condition of your roof, the number of patches and repairs that have been done over the years, you may start to consider a full replacement.  Shingle roofs last anywhere from fifteen to twenty five years, you can continue to repair a shingle roof but it is crucial to weigh your options.  How long will the repairs last verse the expense of a whole new roof?   Often times the choice is clear; a new roof is the better option than continuing to spend time and money repairing an old one.
Home Pro Roofing contractors offer a variety of roofing services throughout Brighton, East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Fenton and Commerce Township, including installation of shingle roofs, metal roofing and roof repairs.  You will find them at today.