Q: HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO REROOF?
Many times, the first sign that you have a problem with your roof is a leak. However, it could be simply a wet spot or stain on the ceiling. A further clue is finding pieces of roofing on the ground after a big wind. Try using a pair of binoculars or a telephoto camera lens to look at your roof from the ground. Loose or broken tiles, or granules falling off asphalt shingles, are all signs that a repair or replacement is in order. Feel free to call us for a referral of a roofer to check it out for you.
Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REPLACE A ROOF?
Replacing your roof or doing roof repair is labor-intensive. Depending on your particular type of roof, expect anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Built-up roofs can typically be replaced at roughly 1,500 square feet per day. Single-ply roofs can move anywhere 2,000 to 4,000 square feet per day. The better your roofer is at planning and project management, the faster they’ll work and the less likely they are to be held up by bad weather.
Q: HOW MANY TYPES OF ROOFING MATERIAL ARE THERE?
For residential roofing, there are six basic types: fiberglass/asphalt shingles; fire-treated wood shakes and shingles; clay or concrete tile; real and synthetic shake/slate products; hot tar (BUR, or Built-Up Roofing); and modified roofing (torch or mop). That’s pretty much it.
Q: WHAT’S THE MOST POPULAR ROOFING MATERIAL?
80% of US homes are roofed with asphalt shingles. They’re durable, versatile and economical, with high-quality at an affordable price. With an enormous range of colors, shapes, and textures available, asphalt shingles can affordably match many design choices.
Q: ISN’T ASPHALT FOR PAVING ROADS?
Asphalt shingles are a little different than road surface. The two basic kinds are Organic-Based and Fiberglass-Based. Organic-based asphalt shingles have a cellulose-fiber base like recycled paper and wood fiber. The base is saturated with a special asphalt coating, then covered with weather-resistant granules. Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles are made with a glass-fiber base, surfaced with the asphalt coating and the same weather-resistant granules.
Q: WHAT ABOUT MY CHIMNEY?
It’s always a good idea to execute any chimney work before doing the roof. All chimney flashing and repairs want to be done before the roofer starts roof repair. You’ll also want to get your chimney mason and your roofer together to coordinate things.
Q: DOES A NEW ROOF OR ROOF REPAIR REQUIRE A BUILDING PERMIT?
Probably. But the definitive word will come from checking with your local government. Your contractor usually takes care of the permit for you, but be sure to ask. If he doesn’t, you’ll have to handle it with the city yourself.
Q: WHAT ABOUT MY SOLAR PANELS?
They’ll probably have to be removed first. Most are mounted to the existing roofing material. In most cases, you’ll need a licensed electrician to do the job correctly.
Q: SHOULD A ROOFER BE LICENSED BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA?
Absolutely, yes they should. To verify a roofer’s license, check the State’s website, www.CSLB.CA.gov. For more helpful info, you can also visit the website for the Roofing Contractor’s Association of Southern California, www.rcasocal.org.
Q: CAN I REROOF MY HOUSE MYSELF?
Understand that repairing a roof is more of a job than it looks, and it’s dangerous work. In addition, if it leaks when you’re finished, who are you going to call? We don’t recommend it. However, if you’re bound and determined, we’ll give you all the help we can.
Q: IS IT OK TO WALK ON MY ROOF TO INSTALL CHRISTMAS LIGHTS?
Anytime you walk on your roof, you’re apt to do some damage, particularly if your roof is tile. We suggest you attach the lights to the fascia with clips from the hardware store so you won’t need to go on the roof at all. Otherwise, you can walk on the roof to install the lights. (Afterwards, be sure to call a roofer to do the necessary repairs.)
Q: HOW MANY ESTIMATES SHOULD I GET FOR A REROOF?
In our opinion, no more than three. More than that, and you’re not only wasting contractors’ time, you’re also more than likely wind up confused by which one said what.
Q: WHAT DOES A NEW ROOF COST?
It depends on a number of factors, i.e., roof size, type of product, pitch of roof, access for equipment, etc. It’s definitely not like buying a car, where you can email several dealers the specs, and take the lowest price knowing you’re getting the same car from all of them. Quite the contrary. For instance, you’ll hope that all the roofers are using the same material—but how would you really know? And what about the workers actually installing the roof? Are they trained employees of the roofer, or men picked up the morning of the job outside the neighborhood home improvement store? Does the roofer carry the necessary insurance, in the event of a worker getting hurt? The worst-case scenarios happen far more often than you might imagine. The simple fact is that the cheapest roofer is NEVER the best roofer. When it comes to pricing a new roof, remember the old adage: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Q: IF ALL ASPHALT/FIBERGLASS SHINGLES NOW HAVE A LIFETIME WARRANTY, WHY SHOULD I UPGRADE FROM THE ENTRY-LEVEL GRADE SHINGLE TO A HIGHER-PRICED UPPER LEVEL GRADE SHINGLE?
That’s a good question. The biggest difference in the grades of shingles are thickness (weight), and appearance. The lowest level shingle is designed to be functional, and have a low price point. As you move up in grade of shingles, they are thicker (weigh more) and have a more aesthetic look. Besides looking better, the higher grade will last longer. Shingle warranties are prorated, so read the fine print. Generally speaking, warranty claims are minimal, so one should be realistic about what a lifetime warranty is worth.
Q: WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO CHOOSE A CONTRACTOR, AND SHOULD I TAKE THE LOWEST BID?
Ask for job references in your area that you can call, check the CSLB (CA State License Board, www.cslb.CA.gov), and you can also check with a local supplier like South Coast Shingle/A-1 Building Materials, www.southcoastshingle.com. It’s a good idea to get three comparable bids, and DO NOT TAKE THE LOWEST BID, unless the three are close in price. Make sure the contractor is licensed, properly insured, has been in business for a few years, and has a good reputation. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
Q: WHY DOES MY TILE ROOF HAVE MOLD ON IT, AND CAN IT BE CLEANED?
If the conditions are right, mold will grow on any porous surface (wood shakes/shingles, asphalt/fiberglass shingles, and even clay/concrete tile). It will generally appear on a side of the roof that gets moisture, and is shaded (little or no sun) by an object such as a tree. Besides being unsightly, it is detrimental to the life of the roof. It can be cleaned with power washing, however, it’s a job best left to professional roofers, as you could break a large amount of tiles if you’re not experienced walking on a roof. Also, as the roof gets wet, it becomes very slippery and you may fall.