Where To Start When You Need A Roof Inspection

Why You Should Never pay for Roof Inspection Services

Too many homeowners have fallen into the trap of paying a roofing expert to tell them the roof repair job is not feasible. This is the worst possible outcome. The bottom line is your roofing contractor should be willing to perform the inspection for free in order to earn your business.

Opt for a free roof inspection and you will have absolutely nothing to lose. This roof inspection will provide valuable information about your roof and possible repairs needed. Furthermore, the inspection will give the contractor the chance to get a sense of the type of project in question and begin to develop the best possible approach. This is just as much an opportunity for you to learn about your roof as it is for the roofer to get a sense of the looming repair and prove his or her worth.

Have a Roof Inspection Performed Before the Storms Arrive

Storm season will be here before you know it. There is no better time to have a free roof inspection performed. If you wait too long, there is the potential the roofing contractor will be too busy with other projects to analyze your roof.

Keep in mind roof repairs and roof replacements take some time. If the roofer is overloaded with work due to a string of storms or a particularly strong storm, it will take some time to tend to all requests for inspections. It is better to stay one step ahead and have this important part of your home assessed right away.

What’s The Difference Between A Roof Inspection And Estimate?

WHAT IS A ROOFING ESTIMATE?

A roofing estimate is often a free service from a roofing contractor to figure out the potential costs of a roofing project. People often request roofing estimates when they know that the roof has sustained damage and needs to be replaced, so they call a contractor to come at evaluate the roof and quote them on the price. You can ask specific questions during an estimate about the cost. For example, you might have a section of the roof that needs to be redone. You would ask the roofer how much it costs to cover 150 square feet with new shingles. They would then deliver an estimate on how much that project would be.

However, this free service is limited to that. The roofer might go up on the roof, but they are not inspecting it for problems. In the event that you accept the offer and they begin to work but find damages or other issues, the cost you will previously quoted will inevitably increase.

WHAT IS A ROOFING INSPECTION?

In one hand you have estimates where the roofer quotes you on a project without considering any unknown issues with the roof. In the other hand, there are inspections, which are used when you don’t know the state of the roofing and other connected parts of the building. Whenever you want more information about the roof’s condition, you hire a roofing inspector to visit your home and thoroughly check everything from the shingles to the ceilings and rafters of your abode. Roofing inspections are often carried out by paid contractors or home insurance companies. Some inspections are more in depth than others, but all of them are meant to detect issues with your home, such as missing shingles, leaks, mold and mildew, or water damage. An inspector will also go into your attic if you have one to check for moisture, insulation and ventilation issues.

The Roof At A Glance

Given the importance of the roof in protecting the building, the casual nature of many roofing company inspections—a “cursory glance” is how another roofer describes it—may seem puzzling. That is until you figure that an experienced roofing estimator can tell, literally at a glance, where a roof system is failing and what should be done to mitigate that. In many cases, when a roofing company gets a call from an alarmed homeowner with a roof leak, a glance may be all that’s needed.

But a glance isn’t good enough for everyone. Real estate agents, people buying a house, banks issuing a mortgage, insurance companies writing a homeowner’s policy; for them, nothing less than a detailed, written report will pass muster.

Many roofing companies don’t have the ability or the desire to create that report. A few, known as “real estate roofing companies,” specialize in producing detailed, written documentation on the condition of the roof. These are the companies that regularly get called when a house is on the market. In addition to the fee for the inspection and report—typically from $99 to $700, depending on the size of the structure and complexity of the roof—they’re also likely to contract for the repair work involved. Watrous, for instance, estimates that nearly half of the inspections he conducts result in jobs for Cert-A-Roof of Orange County. For clients, the fact that the company is not out there looking to get a job from the roof inspection is what makes Cert-A-Roof the desirable service provider.

Reasons Roofs Should Be Inspected

Weathering and Aging

The benchmark life for multi-ply bituminous low-slope roofs is 20 to 30 years and approximately 15 to 25 years for most single-ply roofs. All roofs undergo normal weathering and aging, and the effects of those factors are usually visible. As roofs weather and age normally, openings may occur, leading to water infiltration. Regular inspections call attention to weathered areas and enable an owner to schedule maintenance on these deficiencies to prevent further damage.

Routine Maintenance Damage

If your roof is not protected properly, damage can occur from tradespeople performing maintenance on air conditioners and other systems. This sometimes occurs because of trades failing to close mechanical access panels on roofs or leaving refrigerant containers. In addition, maintenance trades often fail to clean up their debris. Items left on roofs can become flying objects in high winds. A regular inspection program incorporates roof cleaning into the ongoing maintenance cycle.

Storm Damage

High winds, hail, and other weather events can create damage to roofs that may trigger repairs or insurance claims. Roofs should be inspected immediately following weather events to prevent further damage due to water infiltration. Damage from winds or hail can be slight and require little more than minor maintenance, or the problems can be major and require roof replacement. Insurance loss adjusters have reported that a significant amount of storm damage is actually caused by material, components, or debris blown from roofs in high winds. Tree limbs and branches can fall on roofs creating significant damage. Roof blow-offs start at the perimeter, and when roofs are not properly designed or installed to provide proper perimeter securement, severe damage can occur. Storm damage may require emergency repairs costing even more money.

What To Expect During A Roof Replacement

Though an experienced roofing professional will be available to answer your questions about the roof replacement process, understanding the process from start to finish can be beneficial to homeowners before choosing a contractor.

If you’re in need of a roof replacement, but not sure what the process entails, here’s a breakdown of what to expect during a roof replacement.

The Scope of the Project is Determined

Before choosing a contractor, many homeowners reach out to multiple companies to receive estimates, have their current roof inspected, and to discuss the scope of work and desired aesthetic of the new roof—including roofing material and color. There are many factors to consider when determining the right roof for your home, such as durability, cost and overall look. An experienced roofing contractor can help you weigh the pros and cons of each material and choose the best fit for your home and climate. Additionally, during this stage in the process, you’ll discuss the payment details. If you’re planning to finance your new roof, be sure to ask about the available options before signing a contract.

You Choose a Qualified Roofing Contractor

To ensure your roof replacement goes off without a hitch, homeowners should take time for research and planning. One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make in the process of getting a new roof is choosing who will do the job. Be sure to do your due diligence and choose a qualified roofing contractor who has the experience to help ensure your roofing project is completed properly.

How To Make Your Roof Installation Simple And Efficient

Roof Buying Guide: Choosing the Right Roofing

If you’re thinking about buying a new roof, be prepared to pick from possibilities that range from the familiar to materials you never knew existed. In this article, we’ll help you become more acquainted with your options and the features you should consider when comparing one to another. Then we’ll point you to more detailed information about each roofing material.

Some roofing materials, such as slate, wood shakes, and copper, have remained virtually unchanged for centuries. But a considerable array of other roofing materials have joined them, from the perennial favorite, asphalt-fiberglass, to newer products made from fiber cement, concrete, and plastic composites. Most of these have been developed over the past couple of decades with an eye toward greater durability, easier installation, lower cost, sustainability, and other features homeowners want

What to Consider

It’s easy to fall into the pattern of just replacing your existing material with a newer version of the same thing. Though this often makes sense because you know that the existing material worked okay until recently, you may be missing an opportunity to upgrade the look and functionality of your home’s roof.

Weather Barrier

Because your home’s roof is the primary barrier between you and Mother Nature, it’s critical to choose a material that will shelter your home reliably. It must shed rain and snow, hold up in wind, and endure the sun for many years. Depending upon your climate and the shape and orientation of your home’s roof, some materials will do this job better than others.

Roof Slope

The slope of your roof’s surface is a consideration that may eliminate some some roofing possibilities, especially if the slope is low. A roof’s slope is the number of inches it rises for every 12 inches of horizontal “run.” For example, a roof with a “4-in-12 slope” rises 4 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run.

Choosing the Best Roof for Your Home

All kinds of roofs have advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the best roof material for your home is something that should be done carefully and thoughtfully. The average homeowner will spend between one and four percent of a home’s value on maintenance and repairs each year. The percentage, and thus the maintenance cost, will increase consistently as the house grows older. As a general rule, a roof should be inspected at least once a year. However, the frequency of roof inspection and maintenance will depend upon the environment around your home, and the type of roofing material used

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors to choose from, have a relatively low cost, are easy to install, and are durable enough to walk on without causing damage.

Wood shakes

Wood shakes improve attic ventilation, and they’re beautiful and unique looking. However, they can be difficult to install. Plus, mold and insects can be a problem.

Clay tile

Clay tiles have a long life span, won’t burn or rot, and come in a variety of colors to choose from. However, tile can be heavy, requiring extra roof support. Plus, they’re fragile and more expensive.

Slate

Slate roofs can be laid out in a variety of patterns, provide fire protection, and they’re not vulnerable to insects or rotting. At the same time, slate roofs can be expensive, very heavy, and fragile

Residential Roof Installation

Investment

The investment in your roof is one of the biggest investments you will make on your home. It is important to choose the right materials and the right team to install them. Otherwise, you may be spending more than you bargained for on repairs. When it comes to professional residential roof installation around the Branford, CT area, Amity Home Maintenance Solutions has been the leading provider for over 35 years. Our years of knowledge and experience has allowed us to work with a variety of roofing materials. Our dedication to 110% customer service has brought us to partner with only the best roofing material manufacturers in the business, ensuring that you not only get quality service but also quality materials

Roof Installation Process

Roof installation is a large job that requires a lot of planning and precision. Our main goal when installing a new roof is to ensure that the job is done correctly and that it is done safely. This is why we use only the best techniques and safety procedures when working with your roof.

Ensuring the Protection of Your Home

Safety is our number one concern, therefore we take extra steps to ensure that no debris can damage your home. We lay protective tarps down and across the vulnerable areas of your home, to ensure that debris doesn’t damage siding, windows, doors, or any other part of your home that it may come in contact with.

Removing of Old Material or Inspection of the Wood Decking

In order to ensure that your new roof is properly installed and secure on your home, we need to inspect the wood decking underneath. For a roof replacement, this requires removing the older roof material. Once the old material is taken off, then an inspection can begin. This is to ensure the structural integrity of the home is still strong. If not, then it needs to be repaired before moving on with the installation process.

Preparing for New Shingle Installation

Once the wood deck is checked off as being stable, it is then time to move on with ensuring that the wood deck is prepped for the new roofing. This includes installing any drip edges to ensure moisture doesn’t slip underneath the roof and putting down insulation or ice and water shields to reinforce the roofing materials.

Roof Installation Tips for First-Time Homeowners

Building a home from the ground up is incredibly exciting. It gives you the opportunity to create the home as you envision it, from the basement floor to the rooftop. However, first-time homeowners should understand that choosing something such as a roof isn’t as simple as going with what looks the nicest. Take a look at this guide to roof installation tips for first-time homeowners to understand the important process you’ll have to follow before installing your roof—and even after you install it

Find the right roof contractor

When you’re choosing a contactor to install your roof, don’t just choose the first one that pops up on Google. You have to do your research to make sure you find a good, reputable contractor. The first time you speak to a contractor should be similar to an interview. Ask for examples of previous employers and projects they’ve completed so that you can understand how good the contractor is. You’ll also have to make sure the contractor has the proper certification and insurance to carry out an installation project. Plus, your contractor shouldn’t just know how to install rooftops; they should also know how to install the specific roofing material you’ve chosen to use.

Carefully consider your roofing material

Asphalt shingles are a common material used for roofing, which is why some first-time homeowners don’t give it a second thought. However, choosing the roof material is just as important as choosing your contractor—if not more so. For instance, if you’re an eco-friendly household, you may be happier with metal roofing. This type of roofing has many well-known green benefits, such as its waste reduction properties. For instance, while asphalt shingles are often tossed into landfills, metal roofing can be reused. In fact, metal roofing has a lifespan twice the length of that of asphalt roofing. Once you have the right contractor and material, you’re ready for installation.

Understand regular maintenance

It’s important to know that different roofing materials come with different maintenance requirements. Whichever material you choose to go with, your job isn’t done when the roof is installed. While you reside at the home, you’ll have to keep an eye out for a few different things. First off, keep an eye on any corrosion or buildup on the roof that will require cleaning or replacing of the material. Additionally, you’ll have to clean out any debris from the gutters attached to your rooftop. You should also go up to your attic periodically to inspect for any leaks or protrusions coming through the roof.

Following these roof installation tips for first-time homeowners will help you ensure your roofing process goes smoothly, from the moment you move in until the day you move out. With the proper installation and maintenance techniques, your roofing can be a great asset to you and your home for decades.

Choosing Roofing Materials

For most of us the roof is an afterthought—at least until it starts to leak. Then we realize how critical that surface of our house’s exterior really is. Yet, as well as keeping the house dry, the roof contributes greatly to the look of the house, so when building a new house, adding on, or re-roofing, it may pay to consider the options. Right now there are more options in the marketplace than ever, so choosing one is tough. I know because I am in the midst of selecting a roof for my cabin in Maine, and every time I know what I want I look at one of the other options and begin to change my mind! The choices range from asphalt shingles to wood shakes and clay tiles, from steel panels to rubber lookalike slate. The most important trend to note, however, is that as with home-construction materials in general, there is an increasing move towards engineered roofing materials. This change is being driven by a few different factors. One is simply the high cost of wood. The second is that in many cases, codes now mandate the use of fireproof construction materials. And third, people understandably want to build with materials that not only look good but also are very long-lived.

Asphalt Shingles

The roofing material we all see the most of these days—the one that covers the roofs of a great majority of houses across America—is the standard three-tab asphalt shingle. One of the least-expensive roofing options, asphalt shingles are available in a dozen or so different colors both solid and blended. The shingle products being made today are usually guaranteed for 20, or in some cases 30 years, making them an excellent value. Value is the principal advantage of this roofing material, which explains it’s commonality. The disadvantage, however, if there could be said to be one, is the fact that it is so common. The next upgrade from a standard three-tab is a thicker variation called an architectural shingle. These shingles are built up to be about twice as thick as a normal shingle with the layers staggered to give them a heavier, more substantial or “architectural” look. In some colors they resemble slate, and in other colors wood shakes. We used architectural shingles on the Lexington ranch house. With only a modest upgrade in cost and up to a 30-year guarantee, architectural shingles also represent an excellent value with an added touch of style.

Shingles, Shakes…

For looks, it is hard to beat a wood shingle roof. Over time it weathers out to a gray or soft silver that seems to root the house to the landscape. Several species are used: Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Eastern White Cedar. Shingles are relatively smooth and cut to a uniform thickness, although they vary in width. Wood shakes are thicker and rougher, being split rather than sawn from the logs. Wood roofs are meant to breathe and should be laid over a substrate that allows air to circulate behind them: skip sheathing—wood strips or battens nailed directly to the roof rafters—is the traditional method of installing a wood shingle roof. About 10 years ago we began using a plastic matrix product that is something like a scrubby pad, which allows air to circulate behind the shingles. This product can be laid on top of a building-paper-coated plywood roof deck, making it ideal for a retrofit. Another method of getting air circulation behind the shingles is to lay them on pressure-treated lattice. For all their great looks, shingles and shakes are expensive to install and do require some periodic maintenance, typically in the form of washing to remove any mildew or moss, and then re-oiling with a clear wood finishing product. On our current Shingle-style project here in Manchester, Massachusetts, we’re using a wood shingle that is new to us: pressure-treated Southern Yellow Pine, which grays out in a few years to resemble cedar and is said to require no maintenance at all. A properly installed and maintained wood roof should last at least 30 to 50 years. In fact, we have seen roofs on which the shingles were still good after 25 years or so, but the galvanized nails were finally rusting, so be sure to use a high-quality stainless-steel nail!

And Fakes

Originally, our Craftsman-style bungalow in Santa Barbara, California, would have been clad in a combination of wood shingles and shakes, because the building needed that shaggy rough-hewn appearance to look authentic. However, because of fire danger, local codes now require all roofing materials to be fireproof. Accordingly, we used a heavy architectural asphalt shingle on the roof, and a cementitious shingle manufactured to look like a wood shake for the side walls — although they are suitable for use on the roof as well. Use of these “fake” shakes is rapidly increasing, both because they satisfy the strict fire codes in the West and because they are long lived and require no maintenance.

Slate and Fake Slate

In the Northeast slate was a traditional roofing material for high-end houses and municipal buildings. It is beautiful, lasts for generations, sheds ice and snow, and is very expensive. Because of its cost and weight, which requires a beefier roof structure to support, slate is not often used these days. Yet on our Billerica project, rebuilding Dick Silva’s burnt-out family home, we wanted the slate look. Again we turned to an “engineered” product, this time a slate lookalike fabricated from recycled rubber and plastic. At only about one-third the weight and cost of slate, these shingles can be installed using standard tools and techniques. From the street, the discerning eye might be able to tell the difference between engineered and the real McCoy, but most of us would be very house-proud with one of these roofs on our homes. Plus, these shingles are guaranteed to last for as long as 50 years.