1How long should a roof last?
Like any building component, roofs degrade at different rates depending on a large number of factors: the quality of original construction, the level of abuse, weather, the level of maintenance, appropriateness of design, material used, etc. So how long should a roof last? A poorly installed roof may show signs of failure on the first rain. There are also well-crafted roof systems that use durable materials and, if well-maintained, have lasted decade upon decade. Most building owners, roofing contractors and designers feel 20-30 years is an acceptable service life.
2How can a homeowner prevent roofing problems?
Once a year inspections can discover cracked, warped, or missing shingles, loose seams and deteriorated flashings, excessive surface granules accumulating in the gutters or downspouts, and other visible signs of roof problems. Indoors you can look for cracked paint, discolored plasterboard, and peeling wallpaper as signs of a leaking roof system.
3What will a new roof cost?
The price of a new roof varies widely, depending on the material selected, the contractor doing the work, the home itself, area of the country, local labor rates, and more. Keep in mind that cost is only one factor, and it must be balanced against the quality of workmanship and materials. There are a variety of material options including composition, wood, metal, clay, concrete, slate, and PVC. These materials vary in quality, style, shape, and price. You need to look at the full product range and make a choice based on your budget and needs. Within the roofing profession there are different levels of expertise and craftsmanship. Pick a contractor who is committed to quality work so you are sure they will be around to take care of the roof you put on.
4Can I cover over my existing roof?
Installing a roof over the top of an existing roof is possible, however, it's not recommended. Some manufacturer's warranties will not guarantee their product when it is installed over an unacceptable substrate. We believe that your roof is only as strong as its' weakest link, and therefore prefer to accept responsibility for the craftsmanship of your home and start the reroofing process from the actual structure.
5If moss is growing on my roof, is that a problem?
In moist areas, such as the Pacific Northwest, moss can and will grow on shingles. Although the moss doesn't necessarily ruin your shingles it can have negative effects. Moss can divert the path of water draining off of your roof, it can discolor the shingles, separate or lift your shingles, and it can retain moisture on your roof. While moss isn't the most serious issue, proper maintenance and preventative care can truly help the longevity and appearance of your roof. Moss can be brushed off, or if needed can be sprayed off or treated with a moss-killing chemical.
6If there are wet spots on my ceiling does that mean my roof is leaking?
It's quite possible your roof is leaking if there's evidence of moisture inside your house, in particular on the ceilings or walls. This can also be a sign that your roofing system has inadequate ventilation. A large number of roofing system issues are related to poor ventilation, that is to say, there aren't enough vents moving air from the bottom through the top of your attic.
7There are a few spots that seem to be rotting a bit on the edges of my roof by the gutters, is this a problem?
Rotting eave edges or barge tails can be a result of improper gutter fastening or drainage of water off your roof. This can definitely be remedied with a gutter system that fits your roof and allows for water to travel straight into the trough.
8I found a soft, spongy spot on the roof when I was walking on it, what does this mean?
This most likely means that the substrate below the roofing material is damaged and deteriorating. This can be a result of the plywood sheeting becoming wet from rain above, or from moisture not being able to escape from below and leading to mold/mildew growth on the wood.
9There are some areas of standing water on my roof, is this normal?
When water stays on your roof, in general, that's a bad thing. Any standing water leads to a higher probability of it finding a way to create a leak. When installing flat roofs, we typically construct a positive drainage system which keeps a constant and slight angle to insure that water finds its way off of your roof.
10I've noticed some of the shingles coming loose on the roof, is it time for a new roof?
Shingle damage can definitely be an indicator of a roof reaching its final days, but it's best to have a roof inspection done before jumping to any conclusions. If you are noticing any torn shingles or if they end up in your yard after a storm, that's a strong indicator that it's time to get a professional opinion on the state of your roof.
11My roof appears to have some slight dips and bumps in it, what is happening?
Dips and bumps, or buckling and blistering roofing materials, can be a result of several factors: improperly fastened sheeting, moisture has leaked through the material, poor ventilation allowing moisture build-up in your attic, or this damage can also be a product of heat from the sun. In general, when you see your roof buckling and blistering, the materials have been damaged and most likely need to be replaced.
12The valley of my roof has some cracking, will this lead to leaking?
Having a solid valley is integral to the proper drainage of your roof system. Think of valleys as highways for water travel. Having a flawless exit for water to safely leave your roof through the gutters is important. If there are any cracks or deterioration in the valley it's a high probability that a leak will eventually appear.
13The metal pieces around my chimney seem rusty and are falling apart; will this affect the roof as a whole?
One of the most common causes of a leaking roof is poor flashings (the metal pieces that surround pipes, vents, chimneys, and skylights). Flashings are similar to a gasket, insuring that the hole created wherever a pipe, vent, chimney or skylight pokes through your roof, is properly sealed against the elements. Making sure that your roof is equipped with proper flashings is a must.
14What is an architectural or dimensional shingle?
Unlike standard 3-tab, or strip shingles, which are single layer in design, a growing number of shingles are multi-layered, or laminated together, which creates a more dimensional appearance.
15How can I prepare for the installation of my new roof?
Remove all loose items from walls and shelves as constant hammering may cause enough vibration to shake these items down. Make sure to clear your driveway and items directly surrounding your home. Also, please see that electrical power is provided to the outside of your home for the duration of the project.
16What can I do to help protect my yard?
Keep in mind that fragile items on the exterior of your home should be located to a safe area. Items include: Patio furniture, garden equipment, lawn ornaments, etc.
17How long will it take to re-roof my home?
Most important is that the roof system is installed with care and precision, but beyond that we try to be as unobtrusive as possible and generally complete a project within one work week. There are variables though and depending on the complexity of the project and the weather a project can sometimes take longer.