A Brief Guide to Hiring a Roofing Company
Discovery a leaking roof in your home can be quite upsetting. Your roof should be protecting the inside of your house and keeping it water-tight. It is one of the most important things on your exterior to protect you from rain, snow, sleet, and hail. Many people go into panic mode when they notice their roof leaking and damaging their interior.
Chances are when you find out your roof is leaking it is raining or there is snow on your roof. No one in their right mind is going to go up there then and try to do an emergency roof repair. It’s a dangerous place to be when wet. Slipping off the roof can happen too easily.
Before you call a roofing contractor to do repairs look carefully at where the leak is to determine what might be the cause. If your roof is sloped the source of the leak may be higher up than where the actual water is coming in. Try to determine where it might be coming from so you can accurately tell the contractor what type of roof repair you need.
Chimneys are a Common Source of Leaks
Chimneys are a frequent place for leaks. The metal flashing around the chimney may have become loose. Roof cement often separates from chimneys during extreme weather and temperature changes.
Leaking Roof Vents
Roof vents are another easy area for water to seep into your home. Your roof probably has several vents. You could have vents to let the hot air out of your attic. There are usually plumbing vents too from the bathroom. Sometimes there are dryer vents. All these vents are normally sealed with flashing and/or roof cement. Many emergency roof repairs are done around vents.
Anytime there is something coming out of your roof it is a prime candidate for a leak in your roof. Your roofing material may still be in good shape. It’s these openings in your roof that can cause problems. Having to reseal them is quite common.
Call a Professional Roofing Contractor
Trying to do an emergency roof repair yourself is not as easy as it may sound. If you think you can just go up there and slap some roof cement on – you’re wrong! Just like most things there is a right and wrong way to do it. Even the smallest gap left can let water in. If the cement is applied incorrectly it may cause water to form small pools of water that will enter your home.
Emergency roof repairs are better left to a professional. Besides the risk of falling off your roof it is not a job easily accomplished by an amateur. Don’t panic – but also don’t think a do-it-yourself job will do the trick.
Helpful Roofing Maintenance Tips for Rainy Season
If you are building a new home or renovating an existing how then choosing a roofing contractor will likely be an important part of your project. Not only does your roof keep you warm and dry, an attractive new roof can also add value to your home. Choosing a roofing company isn't always easy so here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Businesses often say that referrals are the best source of customers, however while that is true it can also be the best source of contractors too. Asking your friends, work colleagues and neighbours who have had their roof done recently who they used and whether they were happy with them is a great source of leads for a roofing contractor. Ask them questions like what was their price like? Did they use qualified tradesmen? Was there any quality controls and guarantees? Where their any problems and if so where they smoothly resolved? What was their customer service like? These kind of questions will give you good feedback of what you should expect from a roofing contractor and what to look for to meet your requirements.
Next it is important to ensure that the roofing contractor has the relevant licenses, uses qualified tradesmen and are fully insured. This is very important in the event of any issues such as injuries or accidents. Calling or visiting the website of any local builders or trade associations such as Master Builders is another good place to find a reputable company as there associations usually insure members meet certain quality standards and possess the relevant licensing.
By now you should have started to gather a list of contractors who you are going to call for your job. Usually its a good idea to have three or four quotes. Typically you will find there will be one high ball quote, a low ball quote and a couple in the middle. While price might be one of your determining factors remember that cost can often be a reflection of quality. In the roofing industry often low cost operators substitute qualified tradesmen with inexperienced labourers and cut costs and corners on the job. It is important to look at what you are actually getting in the quote from the company and guarantees are an important aspect of this.
Make sure you have a look through the fine print and actually understand the warranties given to you by your vendors. Many warranties may sound similar, you'll be surprised at what they do and don't cover when you read the fine print! A good warranty should offer to fix any leakages or problems free of charge with some obvious inclusions such as major natural disasters. Further more once you have had someone inspect your roof, they usually will show you some of their recent work. This is important as you can often go and see the jobs for yourself. On some occasions companies will even have a revolving list of references you can phone.
Other things you will need to know are:
- how long they have been in business
- do they require a deposit upfront
- does the company require the money upfront (likely red flag)
- are they qualified to remove asbestos safely (if applicable)
- are they liable for any damage caused to your property
- are their any financing options
- what their warranty covers
- are they insured
- do their staff have work cover
It can also be a good idea to check with local authorities such as the BSA (Building Services Authority) to see if their were any complaints and how they were resolved. While complaints may happen from time to time how they are resolved is a better measure of what it will be like to deal with the company.
While it may seem like a lot of work to go to all this trouble it is a lot easier than it sounds and remember the roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Your roof keeps you warm, dry and safe and improves the overall look and value of your home.
How to Repair a Shingle Roof
Spring, as you may have heard, is a time for renewal; but that means a renewal of everything—not just the fun stuff we associate with the season, like the end of snow (kind of) and flowers in bloom. Spring also means the renewal of outdoor chores—more specifically, roof maintenance and inspection. Oh yeah, I can feel your excited vibes all the way through the internet!
Roof upkeep clearly isn’t the most glamorous task, but if you’re a homeowner, it’s incredibly vital to prevent long-term structural damage to your house brought on by moisture permeation and material erosion. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends that homeowners inspect and clean their roofs at least twice a year—once during the fall and spring.
Roof cleaning is an easy chore to neglect because of how involved it is, but doing so can severely hinder your home’s normal functions, like water drainage. During the winter, leaves, twigs, and seeds accumulate in your gutters. If you don’t regularly clear them, runoff water from snowmelt can overflow—or worse, pool atop your roof and slowly erode your roof’s protective materials. It isn’t just seasonal, though; in fact, clogged gutters become even more dangerous during the summer since accrued dried foliage becomes a fire hazard when the weather gets hotter.
To help simplify your spring cleaning routine for your roof, we’ve teamed up with an expert roofing company to outline the most important tasks. Here are four tips to keep in mind while maintaining your roof:
1. Check for Signs of Moisture Permeation
There are several ways to check for unwanted moisture deposits—inside and outside of your home. If you’re inspecting your roof’s exterior, look for fungus, algae, or rust, especially in spots where your roof is penetrated by fixtures like your chimney, skylights, or vents. Within your home, check for damp spots on your roof. If you see them, it’s almost certain moisture is seeping into your system.
2. Assess the Wear and Tear
A certain amount of depreciation is expected for any roof, regardless of its construction, since they’re constantly subjected to weathering effects, collision impacts, and abrasive contact from neighboring tree branches. Despite this reality, it’s crucial to understand how much wear and tear is reasonable based on how long you’ve had your roof and the quality of its construction materials. If you see loosening, cracked, porous, or discolored shingles, it’s likely the protective layers and granules of your roof are being eroded at too rapid of a rate, which may require immediate repair or replacement.
3. Don’t Flush Your Gutters Before You Clear Them
It’s tempting to try and streamline your gutter clearing by just rinsing out all those leaves and twigs with a garden hose, but doing so could end up compounding your drainage problems. Forcing all that foliage into a single downspout, unless it’s incredibly wide, can reduce your gutter’s draining capability and lead to more water permeating your home’s foundation, which over time, can severely diminish its structural integrity.
4. Trim the Tree Branches Crowding Your Roof
This is a frustrating to do since it’s not exactly roof maintenance, but doing so can greatly impact your roof’s longevity. Tree branches that are incredibly close to, or loom over, your roof can scratch its shingles and tear away protective granules. Over time, this constant abrasive contact can strip away your roof and greatly reduce its ability to safeguard you and your family from the elements.
Spring cleaning is often something we dread, especially when one of the checklist items requires climbing a ladder and inspecting your roof, but homeowners should welcome the opportunity to reinforce their roofing’s longevity and performance with a few, simple tasks. In the long run, your watchful eye may prevent you from having to replace or fully repair your system, which can be costly and even more of a time investment than your spring cleaning regiment.