Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know if I need a new roof or repair?
A: If your roof has minor damage or a small leak while the rest of it is in good shape, a roof repair may work great. However, if you see many of the aforementioned signs, or if your system is over 20 years old, then a roof replacement is the best long-term option. At your appointment, we will inspect your roof and explain your options.
Q: How long will it take to install my new roof?
A: That depends on the weather and how many layers there are to remove. However, we are typically able to complete a new roof replacement in 2-3 days.
Q: Can you install my new roof over my old one?
A: You should never install new shingles over an old shingle roof system. Your shingles would not be eligible for warranties, and it can cause your new roof to look crooked or lumpy. Furthermore, if the old roof layer is not removed, we are unable to inspect the plywood decking for rot or deterioration. This can create a much larger problem in the future. Moisture from the previous roof layer can get trapped under the new shingles and accelerate roof aging.
Q: Will my insurance company pays for my new roof?
A: The best way to know what is covered is to contact your insurance provider. Your coverage will depend on the age of the roof, where you live and other factors. Most homeowner insurance policies will provide coverage for roof damage caused by unpreventable events like wind, rain, and hail. Depending on the age of your roof, you may only be reimbursed for the depreciated value of the system. Regardless, when you submit your roof insurance claim, an insurance adjuster will be sent to inspect the damaged areas and determine the cost that the insurance company will pay. We are proud to help you handle the process from start to finish with insurance company.
Q: What does RCV mean?
A: RCV stands for Replacement Cost Value. This is the total budget your insurance company has set for the replacement of the damages to your home.
Q: What if my new roof leaks?
A: A new roof should not leak but in the event of minor weather related damage the roof becomes compromised and it could cause problems. with our new roof replacements we are proud to offer a life time warranty on all new roofing jobs. We are more than happy to fix the issues with your roof. Call us if you have any questions. Read Our Life time warranty Here.
Q:Is it too cold to roof my house?
A: Maybe.The manufacturers of asphalt shingles typically recommend 40 degrees for a successful installation. Shingles made with SBS can be installed when it is as cold as 0 degrees. Tile, slate and many commercial applications can be installed in almost any temperature.
Q: What kind of roof do I need?
A: The good news is there are endless options to install, the bad news is there are lots to choose from! The best news is that we’re here to help!
Q: What can I do about mildew on my roof?
A: Most home improvement stores sell a mildew cleaner that can be applied to your roof with a sprayer. Mildew cleaners shouldn’t damage your roof in any way.
Q: How often should I clean my gutters?
A: Gutters should be cleaned at least once in the summer and twice in the fall.
Q: Can heavy snow damage my roof?
A: Yes! It is important to keep heavy snow off your eavesdrops and cleared out of your ridge vents.
Q: What will a new roof system cost?
A: The price of a new roof system varies widely, depending on such things as the materials selected, the contractor doing the work, home or building, location of the home or building, local labor rates and time of year. To get a good idea of price for your roof system, get three or four proposals from reputable contractors in your area. Keep in mind that price is only one factor, and it must be balanced with the quality of the materials and workmanship.
For each roofing material, there are different grades and corresponding prices. There also are a variety of styles and shapes. 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. Insist on a contractor who is committed to quality work.
Q: How can I determine my annual roofing cost?
A: When considering your roofing options, the following formula may help:
Total Cost (Materials and Labor) ÷ Life Expectancy of Roof System (in years) = Annual Roofing Cost
Q: I received three significantly different proposals from contractors. How should I decide which contractor to select?
A: Clearly, written proposals that are detailed and broken down into separate line items are a good sign that the contractor is being thorough and has prepared an accurate estimate. The following is a partial list of items your estimate or proposal should include:
The type of roof covering, manufacturer and color
Materials to be included in the work, e.g., underlayment, ice dam protection membrane.
Scope of work to be done
Removal or replacement of existing roof
Flashing work, e.g., existing flashings to be replaced or re-used, adding new flashing, flashing metal type
Ventilation work, e.g., adding new vents
Who is responsible for repairing/replacing the exterior landscape or interior finishes that are damaged during the course of the work
Approximate starting and completion dates
Length of warranty and what is covered, e.g., workmanship, water leakage
Also, be sure to read the recommendations listed in Buying a new roof and getting your money's worth and Selecting An NRCA Professional Roofing Contractor (Steep-slope Residential) for more information.
Q: I received several estimates to replace my asphalt shingle roof system and the prices vary greatly.
A: If one estimate seems much lower than the others and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fly-by-night contractors' below-cost bids seem attractive, but these contractors often are uninsured and perform substandard work. If an estimate is confusing, ask the contractor to break down the estimate into items/terms you can understand.
Q: My contractor is offering a one-year warranty on my asphalt shingle roof system-is that the industry standard?
A: Before answering the question, a clarification needs to be made about the different warranties you will come across during your roofing project. First, there will be the asphalt shingle manufacturer's warranty. In general, this warranty covers defects in the manufacture of the shingle. The period of coverage can range from 20 years to a lifetime. Please read NRCA's consumer advisory bulletin addressing roofing warranties for more information. Once the project is complete, be sure the contractor provides you with a certificate for your records.
Second, the roofing contractor will provide you with a warranty on his workmanship. Typically, this will cover installation and related issues. The warranty should contain what items are covered and what will void them. Many contractors offer one year or two years of coverage; however, RI requires a minimum of one year warranty on all labor performed. Read Our Lifetime warranty Here.
Q: My contractor just started working on my roof and it's the middle of winter! At what temperature is it too cold to install asphalt shingles?
A: There are no specific temperature guidelines regarding when it is too cold to install asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles do become brittle in cold temperatures, with fiberglass shingles more likely to break than organic shingles. Breakage can be minimized or eliminated if the shingles are stored in a warm area and loaded onto the roof a few bundles at a time. Another concern is that the self-sealing strips will not seal or bond sufficiently in cold temperatures. Hand-tabbing (the application of quarter-size dabs of adhesive to the underside of shingles) is recommended if the building is located in an area prone to high winds. This will help prevent the shingles from blowing off the roof until warmer weather arrives and the sealing strips can set properly.
Q: Only the underlayment has been installed on my roof and it rained last night. Now, the underlayment is wrinkled. Does it have to be replaced?
A: Yes, have the company replace it. To be honest this is old technology and now we don't use paper underlayment. We use a newer underlayment that is stronger and more durable giving you more peace of mind. Call us if more questions.
Q: During the re-roofing of my house, the contractor left one side of the roof unprotected and when it rained, water entered the house and my ceiling and walls are damaged. Who is responsible for repairing the interior of my house?
A: Before signing a contract, make sure that it contains language addressing who is responsible for any damage that occurs as a result of the roofing work. All items of concern and work to be done should be included in the contract.
Q. My contractor re-used the existing flashings on my roof and after he finished installing the new shingles, he left! I've left several messages with the company and no one will come back to install new flashings. Shouldn't that be included in the work?
A: If the contract didn't specify the installation of new flashings, it wasn't included in the original scope of work. Be sure that all items of work to be done are included in the contract before signing it.
Q: What are my options if I decide to reroof?
A: You have two basic options: You can choose a complete replacement of the roof system, involving a tear-off of your existing roof system, or recover the existing roof system, involving only the installation of a new roof system. If you've already had one re-cover installed on your original roof system, check with a professional roofing contractor. In many instances, the building code requirements allow no more than one roof system re-cover before a complete replacement is necessary.
Q: How long can I expect my roof system to last?
A: Most new roof systems are designed to provide a useful service for about 30 year to life.
Actual roof system life span is determined by a number of factors, including local climatic and environmental conditions, proper building and roof system design, material quality and suitability, proper application and adequate roof maintenance.
Roofing product manufacturers offer a variety of warranties on their products. Take a close look at those warranties to see what responsibilities and financial obligations manufacturers will assume if their products fail to reach their expected lives.
Q. What is the best asphalt shingle to use on my roof?
A: Asphalt shingle material performance depends on the quality, quantity, and compatibility of asphalt fillers, reinforcements, and surface granules. There are two kinds of asphalt shingles (based on the type of reinforcement mat used); fiberglass and organic. Fiberglass shingles are more fire- and moisture-resistant than organic shingles. Organic shingles have good wind resistance, high tear strength and can be installed in colder temperatures.
Asphalt shingles should be in compliance with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards and applicable building codes. Fiberglass shingles should meet ASTM D 3462, "Standard Specification for Asphalt Shingles Made from Glass Felt and Surfaced with Mineral Granules," and organic shingles should meet ASTM D 225, "Standard Specification for Asphalt Shingles (Organic Felt) and Surface with Mineral Granules."
Consumers also should keep in mind a roofing warranty's length should not be the primary criteria in the selection of a roofing product or roof system because the warranty does not necessarily provide assurance of satisfactory roof system performance. See NRCA's consumer advisory bulletin addressing roofing warranties for more information.
Q: Are two layers of No. 15 underlayment the same as one layer of No. 30 underlayment?
A: No. Two layers of underlayment are referred to as a "double-layer of underlayment" and there is a 19-inch overlap between layers. One layer of underlayment is called a "single-layer of underlayment" and there are 2 inches of overlap between layers. NRCA recommends a double-layer of underlayment for roof decks having slopes of 3:12 (14 degrees) up to 4:12 (18 degrees).
Q: My contractor wants to use staples instead of nails to install my asphalt shingles. Is that okay?
A: NO. We recommends galvanized steel or the equivalent corrosion-resistant roofing nails for asphalt shingle installation. Also, verify the governing building code requirements and what the shingle manufacturer recommends.
Q: My contractor suggested installing a ridge vent on my roof and I already have two single static vents. Do I really need a ridge vent?
A: NRCA suggests the amount of attic ventilation be balanced between the eaves and ridge. The intent of a balanced ventilation system is to provide nearly equivalent amounts of ventilation area at the eave/soffit and at or near the ridge. For a balanced ventilation system to function properly, approximately one-half of the ventilation area must be at or near the ridge.
Q: My house has a roof with a 2 1/2:12 (11 degrees) slope. The manufacturer says it's okay to use asphalt shingles, but my contractor says it isn't. Who's right?
A: There are some manufacturers (and even model building codes) that will allow the application of asphalt shingle roof having that slope; however, NRCA does not recommend shingles on slopes less than 4:12 (18 degrees). Asphalt shingle roof systems are water shedding and rely on gravity and roof slope to effectively drain water off the roof.
Q: My house has a flat roof. What is the best roof system for a flat roof?
A: There is no one roof system that is best for all applications. Keep in mind that even if you are using the best materials, your roof system still can be installed improperly and you could end up with a leaky roof. Good workmanship and proper attention to detail (e.g., flashing and drainage issues) are just as important as material selection. Also, maintenance plays an important role in the roof system integrity and service life.
To assist you in your decision-making, homeowners should be informed of what is available.
Also, keep in mind low-slope roofing materials manufacturers may not offer material warranties to homeowners. The only warranty you most likely will be able to obtain is from the contractor. So it is critical you work with a professional roofing contractor and get a detailed, thorough proposal. Be sure to read the recommendations listed in Buying a new roof and getting your money's worth.
Q: How can a homeowner recognize when a roof system has problems?
A: All too often, roof system problems are discovered after leaking or other serious damage occurs. Periodic (twice-a-year) inspections often can uncover 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 system problems. Indoors, look for cracked paint, discolored plasterboard and peeling wallpaper as signs of damaged roof areas.
Q: My roof leaks. Do I need to have it replaced completely?
A: Not necessarily. Leaks can result from flashings that have come loose or a section of the roof system being damaged. A complete roof system failure, however, generally is irreversible and a result of improper installation or choice of materials or the roof system installation is inappropriate for the home or building.
Q: Can I do the work myself?
A: Most work should not be done by yourself. Professional roofing contractors are trained to safely and efficiently repair or replace roof systems. You can damage your roof system by using improper roofing techniques and severely injure yourself by falling off or through the roof.
Maintenance performed by home and building owners should be confined to inspecting roof systems during the fall and spring to check for cracked or curling shingles and cleaning gutters filled with dead leaves and other debris. If you must inspect your roof system yourself, use a firmly braced or tied-off ladder equipped with rubber safety feet. Wear rubber-soled shoes and stay on the ladder (and off the roof system), if possible.
Q: How can ice dams be reduced or removed?
A: Remove as much snow as possible, but call a professional roofing contractor if your roof is steep, the snow is deep or the ice is thick. NRCA does not recommend using ice picks or shovels (or any tool with sharp edges) because there is a chance of damaging roof coverings and flashings. NRCA also does not recommend hosing down a roof with water or use of a hot air gun. Electric heat cables generally have limited effectiveness.
Q: Can ice damming and backup occur without gutters?
A: Yes, and it is more probable for roofs with lower slopes, especially in valleys and upslope from curbs, chimneys, and penetrations.
Q: I want to use melting pellets to melt the snow on my roof. Will it harm the asphalt shingles?
A: Generally, chemical melting compounds do not reduce the overall expected service life span of asphalt shingles. Staining may occur until all the residue is washed away. Calcium or magnesium chloride pellets are less harsh and stainless than sodium chloride.
Q: How do I clean algae and moss from my asphalt shingle roof?
A: Use a mild solution of chlorine bleach and water or mild detergent gently applied with a sponge or hand-held sprayer and rinse thoroughly. Do not use a power washer or high concentrations of bleach, and do not scrub the shingle surface. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association also offers cleaning recommendations.