New roof

How Do You Know When It’s Time To Replace Your Roof?

Is It Time To Replace Your Old Leaky Roof?

One of the most frequent questions that most homeowners have is, “how do I know when it’s time to replace my roof”, or “do I need to replace my roof?”

While this is a loaded question, there are many variables. For instance, what type of roofing material did you have installed on your roof, how was the craftsmanship, are you currently experiencing any leaks, are you noticing any cracking, curling, broken, missing or shrinking shingles? Do storms tend to blow off your shingles each time a wind storm passes through?

When The Signs Begin

If your roof is constantly leaking, or a storm has blown multiple shingles off – it may be a sign of a larger problem. Once a roof starts leaking, or shingles are broken off or lifted, it can cause a ‘break’ in the entire roofing system. You could have damage to your sheathing or underlayment. Replacing shingles is one thing – but sheathing can be expensive to replace, and can increase the overall cost of your roof replacement if you don’t treat it before it gets happened. Leaks and existing damage will determine whether your roof can be re-covered or needs to be torn off and replaced.

The Options

When it comes to your roof – you truly “get what you pay for”. There are many different roofing options out there. From asphalt shingles, to metal, to tile, to slate, to cedar shake. And even within each material family, there are many options, from asphalt 3-tab shingles to architectural shingles. The quality of each material varies with price. For instance, a metal roof is typically going to be more expensive than an asphalt shingle roof. However, you will get a longer lifespan out of a metal roof, so while a metal roof may be a larger upfront investment, it can pay-off as a more economical long-term investment. Similarly, a tile roof is one of the sturdiest (and most visually appealing), and a slate roof has one of the longest lifespan of all roofs. Some buildings still have their original slate roofs after centuries – however, slate roofs are more expensive than other materials.

So It’s Time For a New Roof?

If it’s time to replace your roof, and you’re on a fixed budget, roll roofing and strip shingles (3-tab) are some of the more inexpensive options. The trade-off is in their lifespan and longevity. 3-tab is very popular because of its price point, however, a better choice for long-term is laminated/architectural shingles or metal roofing for your residential home.

When there’s a windstorm with 60+ mph wind gusts, it’s more likely that you’ll see a 3-tab shingle roof with blown off shingles than you will with an architectural shingle roof. Architectural shingles tend to have less blow off, more durable, and are designed with a random style of pattern. Depending on the price point, you will see different types of warranties – anywhere from a handful of years up to lifetime guaranty.

One of the strongest roofing materials to hold up to the elements is metal roofing. It’s made of corrugated steel and rolled rib. It takes extreme winds to damage a metal roof because of how it is fastened to your pitched roof. Recently, metal roofing has become much more popular with the growing array of colors to choose from, and that it is a longer-lasting investment as compared to removing and replacing a shingle roof every 10 or 20 years.

Do Your Homework

When it is time to replace your roof, you want to spend the proper time to do your research and homework to explore all of these options before selecting any particular roofing material or roofing contractor. You should not feel pressured or rushed as it is a big investment. Just remember, the cheapest price is not always the best value. If a contractor can undercut all of the competitors significantly – there may be a reasoning, such as cutting corners on labor, material quality, warranties, or even with insurance/licensing.

Lastly, remember that early detection of any leaks or storm damage is key to extending the lifespan of your roof. Just like the importance of home maintenance in other areas of your home, such as cleaning, windows, hvac, plumbing, the same holds true with roofing, if not more important. A yearly inspection is not a bad idea after a hail or wind storm. Any reputable contractor will be happy to provide a free assessment or inspection.

Care For Your New Roof

The more you care for and maintain your existing roof, the longer you can stretch its life, and minimize future costs for when it is time to replace the roof on your home! And when that time comes, remember to do your research to find the best and most trusted Delaware roofing contractor!

How Do You Know That You’re Hiring The Right Roofing Contractor?

Does your Delaware home need roof repairs for leaks, or a complete total roof replacement? Your roof is one of the most expensive and important assets to your home. The importance of finding the right roofing contractor that will care for your roof like their own can’t be overstated.

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the outside elements. Whether that is inclement weather, rain, hail, wind, a hurricane, tornado, ice, snow – your roof protects your home, your family and its belongings from water damage. A poorly installed roof can put your home at risk with water seeping in, and mold developing.

Before hiring a contractor, you want to ask them about the quality of the materials they are using, and research what others say about that brand. You want to understand the quality and expertise of the employees. Is the company local – or are they a national brand. Do they have any references or social reviews?

Consultative Or One-Dimensional

Is your roofing contractor a specialist in only one type of roofing material, or are they experienced with several? Not all homes are built the same, nor does every home have the same needs. There are numerous roofing systems out in the marketplace to accommodate an array of residential and commercial structures.

Some roofing contractors only specialize in asphalt shingle roofs. And while shingle roofs are one of the most widespread roofing materials used on homes across the country – shingles are not your only option. A quality contractor should explain all of your options, such as a metal roof, slate roof, copper, wood, shake, or tile roof. Some homeowners may prefer a roof that will last longer than a shingle roof, such as metal, even if it means that the initial cost may be more upfront.

If you’re looking for something such as a slate roof, or tile roof, you want to select a roofer that has experience working with those materials before. A shingler may not understand the intricacies of installing a terracotta or clay tile roof.

Roof Replacement or Roof Repair?

Depending on who you call, you may get different answers. Some companies will tell you that you need a roof replacement no matter what, even if it’s a year-old roof. At the same time, if you have a few blown off shingles and call a handyman who is not trained in storm damage, or signs of roof damage, they may simply recommend a couple hundred dollars in roof repairs. Both situations can be dangerous, which is why you want an honest, local roofing company. If you could qualify for a new roof from insurance because of storm damage, but have a handyman nail back on blown shingles, it could void the warranty, it could cause potential leaks or breaks in your roofing system, and likely will disqualify a roof claim as you made temporary patchwork repairs without insurance.

Is your contractor local or from out of state?

It’s not unusual to be hounded by door knockers and out of state roofing contractors after a storm. While we don’t have as many storms in Delaware as Texas or Colorado, we still get plenty of wind and rain to drive in occasional storm chasers. You want to be very careful with the contractor that you select to help you with your roof and insurance scope. Some storm chasing companies have what is called “taillight warranties” where once they leave – they will be gone for good. Whereas, a local Delaware roofing contractor can stand the test of time with your roof, and if you ever have future leaks, can honor their warranty and guarantees.

Do they have references?

A quality roofing company should have no problem showing you dozens, if not hundreds of references and testimonials of their previous work. A new roof is a huge monetary investment for a homeowner – and understandably a very stressful decision. When a roofing contractor eases that burden by calmly helping the homeowner through the process (particularly if it’s an insurance claim) & delivers a beautiful new roof – many homeowners are naturally elated and relieved with the final product.

A quality contractor should be able to showcase these before/after photos, and have local glowing reviews and references from these other homeowners to share with you. This is not only a reflection of their reputation in the community, but a reflection of their experience. The more reviews they can share with you is also a good sign that they are experienced working on local roofing systems similar to your own!

It’s important to contemplate all of these points before purchasing a new roof – as a quality roof should last 15 or 20 years, or longer if you decide on a metal or tile or slate roof!

suburban roof

Top 8 Things To Know Before Hiring a Delaware Roofing Company

What Should You Know Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor?

It’s important to be careful when you are selecting a Delaware roofing contractor. It is one of the most valuable, and expensive parts of your home. It requires a meticulous decision before deciding which roofer you should trust your home to.

(1) Getting estimates and understanding them in entirety can be overwhelming

You may wonder if you’re getting good value for the price, and may be confused about what’s included, what’s necessary and what isn’t. You want to look to referrals and recommendations for whom others have worked with. Reviews can help indicate the experience and qualifications of the contractor whose writing your estimate.

Multiple estimates in writing from each roofing contractor can allow you to clearly visualize and see what you are getting. It is ill-advised to simply rely on verbal promises of a roofing company, get it in writing! Get all guarantees, warranties and promises in writing – as that can be the first thing a contractor “forgets”.

(2) Take your time!

It’s better to take your time to do your research to select a quality roofing company than simply going to the first company that shows up, or to the lowest bidder. It is cheaper to do it right the first time, than it is to accept the cheapest bid, and have to re-do your entire roof 2 or 3 years later.

(3) Find out if your roofing contractor is licensed and insured!

Roofing can be a dangerous trade. You don’t want to put yourself at risk of liability if your roofing contractor is not insured or unlicensed. If something awful were to happen, such as someone falling off of a ladder, you don’t want to leave yourself vulnerable for liability – where insurance could cover those risks.

Licensing and insurance is also a reflection of the professionalism and trustworthiness of the contractor. While a one-man roofing crew may not be licensed or insured as a way to keep costs low, a larger roofing contractor will likely have all of these aspects covered. This may allow the uninsured roofing contractor to underbid everyone else – but this is a true “buyer beware” type of situation.

(4) Is your contractor a roofing contractor – or a general contractor?

You want to work with a roofing contractor that specializes in roof replacements – someone who does roof repair and installations all day, every day. A general contractor is likely doing multiple trades. You want to ensure this is someone who will be in businesses for the full warranty of your roof.

(5) Understand your warranty

Your roof is the most expensive part of your home – and needs to be protected for the long-term. It is advisable to understand the terms of your roof’s warranty. What is your roofs warranty? What does it cover? Is just the material covered? Or is it just the craftsmanship and labor? Make sure materials and labor coverage are clearly spelled out.

(6) Gut-Feeling

It’s important to think about your relationship with the sales rep that comes out. Do you feel comfortable with the rep or roofing contractor that you’re meeting with? Do you feel they are being honest and everything is clearly laid out in understandable terms? Has your contractor mentioned anything unscrupulous about not needing to pull permits (if necessary), or about paying deductibles if it is an insurance or storm damage claim? Your contractor needs to obtain all required roofing or re-roofing permits and schedule proper inspections.

Did the company show up on time for your estimate – or did they have to reschedule several times with troublesome communication? Think about how they may treat you after you’ve paid in full. If they cannot impress you before they’re hired – it is alarming how they may treat you after they get the contract. You can even ask your city’s building department if they are familiar with the roofing company.

Trust your feelings and gut.

(7) Payment Terms

Is your roofing contractor requiring upfront deposit or money down? If so – this is something worth thinking about. Many large roofing contractors won’t require a deposit, as they do not rely on the initial deposit in order to buy materials or start work. It is never a good idea to pay in cash upfront, but if you do pay a deposit, keep a file of everything relating to your roof replacement project. Do not make any final payments until you’re completely satisfied with the job.

(8) Ask about their roof installing process

Your roofing contractor will bear the burden of ensuring your roof is waterproof. How long will the contractor take? Can they do the roof in one day, or will they take 2 or 3 days? How will they protect your garden, or cars, or belongings? Will they put a tarp up, will they take a magnet around to clean up your property at completion?

Take pictures as the work progresses to document if anything were to happen to your home.

These guidelines will help you to get a quality new roof replacement at a fair price – where you will be happy with the results!