Category Archives: Roofing

Investing In A High-Quality Roofing System

Owners who view the roofing system as a one-time expense, and make specification decisions based solely on first costs, run the risk of incurring higher roof maintenance and repair expenditures. The bottom line: Selecting the wrong system is likely to cost a facility executive significantly more than if the right system had initially been selected.

High repair costs can be avoided by installing a high-performance roofing system and conducting routine preventive maintenance throughout the life of the roof. The first cost of a quality roofing system may be higher, but the lower life-cycle costs of the system will more than offset the initial investment.

The initial cost of a roofing system includes materials, labor, overhead, profit and indirect costs associated with the structure. The life-cycle analysis takes the first cost of the roof, then adds to it the future costs of operation and maintenance over the economic life of the roof.

The facility executive that fails to consider the value of a life-cycle costing approach to the purchase of a new roof does the facility and everyone involved with it a financial disservice. First-cost buyers may overlook such important future expense reduction opportunities as:

• Energy cost savings in the heating and air conditioning of the building through the use of white, reflective membranes or coatings and extra insulation.
• Extended roof service life for an optimally drained roof.
• Enhanced roof fire retardence and wind uplift resistance, resulting in reduced insurance costs.
• Extended roof service life resulting from the use of heavier structural framing materials, allowing a heavier roofing system.
• Future savings when the roof is to be replaced by using reusable roof component accessories.
• Reduced roofing surface repairs through installation of a heavier membrane of walkway pads for high-traffic roofs.
• Prevention of roof surface degradation in those roof areas where harmful emissions may occur by installation of appropriate protective devices.

The most cost-effective roof is one that will stand up to the elements and demands of time. Therefore, facility executives should be actively involved in the initial planning stages to determine the best roofing system based on the established criteria for the building.

Planning and Specification

Make sure the roofing system will meet the needs of the facility by answering the following questions:

• What type of system will provide the best long-term performance and energy efficiency?
• How will weather conditions and climate affect the building and roof?
• What is the desired service life of the roof?
• Is resale value of the building important?
• What type of system will incorporate the best drainage characteristics?
• What type of maintenance program will be followed?
• What are the expectations for the roof?
• Are there environmental concerns?
• Does the roof need to be wind- and fire-rated?

Once these questions have been answered, start the selection process based on location, physical characteristics, and building structure and type. Then choose quality products specifically engineered to be integrated and installed as a complete roofing system. To do this, form long-term relationships with manufacturers that are financially sound and have a reputation for commitment and experience in the marketplace. Check the track record of suppliers, as well as the quality controls they provide during installation.

Life-cycle costing analysis doesn’t do any good if the facility executive chooses a manufacturer that is unable to demonstrate financial stability, experience and roofing system longevity.
Successful roofing installations also depend on the expertise of a quality-focused, professional roofing contractor.

Many times, roofing is specified just to get the building covered and protected. Facility executives should realize that the majority of the cost is in labor. Slightly more material dollars up front may save many dollars on premature replacement costs.

It’s also important to remember the role of the roof as the first line of defense against the elements. The roofing system is a key investment that helps to protect the interior environment of the building. Focusing on the lowest initial cost can leave facility executives with a system that is unproven and contributes to further difficulties during the life of the building.

Although the roof makes up less than 3 percent of the construction cost of a commercial building, it is among the most critical construction components, considering the consequences if it fails.

When the facility has as its basic purpose the protection of not only humans involved in daily commerce, but also valuable business assets that are critically important to the conduct of that commerce, the roof emerges as more than a cost component of the total building asset – it becomes an asset in and of itself.

The key to life-cycle cost is total system analysis. A roof is a system that requires a broad spectrum of elements working together. When a building owner chooses an asphalt roofing system for a given application, the system should be specified and installed as a whole. The performance of any roofing system can be optimized when all the components are selected based on how they integrate as part of a total roofing system.

A Whole System Approach

As with any investment, the ultimate value of the roof will be determined in large part by the investment term. In this case, the term is the realistic, anticipated life of the new roofing system. The best way to determine how long a roofing system is likely to last is to consider the documented performance of the system in similar applications and environments.

The value of a roof can actually increase if it survives its first few years without incident. A life-cycle curve often has a bump for premature mortality. If a roof survives past the time period of that bump, then the long-term outlook actually improves.

Calculating Life-Cycle Cost

A general formula for calculating the life-cycle cost of a roof is to subtract the estimated salvage cost of the new roof materials from the purchase price and then add the projected costs of maintenance, repair and replacement over the forecasted economic life of the roof. For this calculation, the value of today’s dollar must be converted to a future value.

Energy efficiency has become a significant factor in determining a roof’s life-cycle cost. Many facility executives are specifying metal-clad or coated modified bitumen membranes and flashings, other reflective membranes or additional insulation as energy-efficient options. A variety of aluminum or white acrylic coatings can be applied to smooth surfaces. Granule-surfaced modified bitumen membranes can be applied to enhance reflectivity. By improving the energy efficiency of the building with reflective membranes or additional insulation, facility executives can often reduce cooling costs.

Before problems occur, preventive maintenance should also be conducted to remove visible debris from the roof, clean drains and perform minor repairs. No matter how thorough the maintenance program is, however, it is necessary to make routine, semi-annual inspections to reduce long-term repair costs. At a minimum, facility executives should have their roofs inspected once in the spring and once in the fall.

The eventual tear-off and disposal of the roofing system is another necessary factor to be included in the life-cycle cost. Some systems require a more labor-intensive removal process, which can add to the total cost, while certain membrane types can be recycled, which may ultimately reduce the cost of the system.

Seek Help

With the wide range of system types available in today’s commercial roofing industry, one of the main obstacles facility executives encounter is acquiring the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions. Manufacturers offer seminars that allow facility executives a forum in which to expand their knowledge base and understanding. Once owners have the information necessary to make sound specification decisions, they can confidently specify roofing products and systems that will meet their long-term goals.

Select the Right Roofing Company for Your Home

Introduction

The average lifespan of a roof is 30 years – provided it was well-constructed with quality material. Roofs are however, prone to weather damages because they are the most exposed part of a house so more often than not, roofs require repairs in some parts.

Caring for your roof is essential. Doing repairs when necessary prevent leaks in rainy weather. Leaks lead to the development of moisture that can damage the wooden structure of the house. Not waiting until it is too late to have repairs done will also save you lots of money.

For many DIY people, the most obvious thing to do is to repair the roof themselves. But roofing repairs, it must be noted, can be quite tricky and unless you are a roofing contractor yourself, you must come to terms with the fact that you might need to hire a professional roofer.

In the following short report, you will find out practical reasons why roofing repairs must be left to the professionals only, the benefits of hiring a roofer and the 5 essential things you must know before calling the local roofing company.

Should You Do It Yourself?

Many people opt for DIY repairs because it saves a lot of money, and it can be fun sometimes. However, there are simply some projects that must be handled only by professional contractors and roofing repair is one of these.

There are lots of mistakes that one who is not well versed in doing roof repairs can commit… And these mistakes can be really costly and even life-threatening!

The following are the most common mistakes DIY people commit when it comes to roof repairs:

They ignore safety precautions

Roofing repairs and installations is one of the most dangerous occupations of all time. There are a lot of hazards involved in it such as falls, tool hazards, injuries like puncture wounds and cuts, electrical and fire hazards and natural dangers like strong winds, ice and lightning. Is it worth it to lose limb or life just to save a small amount of money?

1. Fasteners end up in the wrong place

Just one fastener out of place can cost you hundreds of dollars plus more repairs. This mistake is easily avoided if you know what you’re doing or if you hired someone who does.

2. They buy the wrong roofing systems

A poor choice in roofing system increases the risks already associated to roof repairs. Metal roofs become slippery with the slightest amount of moisture and asphalt roofs require a certain slope to prevent leaks. Speaking of slopes, there are requirements that must be considered and only a roofer understands these.

Mistakes in roof repairs or installations will lead to the necessity of replacing the system again, thus the need to spend more cash. Additional expenses can be avoided by hiring a reliable roofing company.

Why It Is Best to Hire a Professional Roofer

Aside from the avoidance of mistakes and unnecessary expenses, there are other benefits to hiring a professional roofing contractor:

• The right type of roofing system is used. Since there are many different types of roofing materials (metal, steel panels, wood shakes, asphalt shingles, clay tiles, rubber slates, etc.), choosing the right one can get confusing. By hiring a roofing contractor, you are spared from making mistakes that you’ll soon regret.

• The old roofing material is properly disposed of. Majority of roofing contractors will cover everything from removing the old roofing, replacing it and disposing of the old material.

• Expert installation. You are sure that the roofing system is installed securely and weather tight.

• Damage to the roof system is avoided. Roofers have scaffoldings that they use to repair or install roofs without inflicting damage to other parts of the roof or house.

• Your roofer will help you decide if a new roof needs to be installed or if some repairs are all it takes.

• Get advice on the side. Good advice on roof care is a bonus you get from your roofing contractor. A professional roofer can tell you ways to care for the most exposed part of your house and ensure that it will last as long as it can.

Roof repair is not as simple a task as many might think. There are lots of tiny details that must be considered if you want your roof to become good as new. A reliable contractor can help you figure out what needs to be done and how much everything will cost you.

The 5 Things to Know Before Hiring a Roofer

Now that you know the benefits of hiring a roofer and the risks involved to doing the repairs or installation yourself, there are still a few things you need to understand before picking up the phone and calling your local roofer.

Upon deciding to hire a professional roofer, your first thought will naturally be to call the nearest contractor and get a quote. Not all roofers are the same and if you want to get the best service for your money, there are things you need to consider. There are bad roofers and there are the reputable ones. Of course like any sane homeowner, you’d want to make sure you deal only with a reputable contractor.

Here are some of the things you must know prior to hiring a roofer that can help you identify the best contractor to hire:

1. Know Exactly What You Want Done

Before you make that call, it is but sensible to have an idea of what the problem is and what you want done exactly. It’s not as simple as deciding the roof needs fixing and calling someone over to fix it. When talking to a contractor, he will likely ask you a lot of questions concerning the project. And if you have not prepared or have no idea what you want done, you can be swayed easily into believing that there are more problems than there really is.

You must know the extent of the damage so you can tell your contractor exactly what needs fixing. Are there holes? Are there shingles falling off or missing? Does the flashing need to be re-aligned? What about the drainage, is it working fine?

Knowing exactly what must be fixed will also save you money. When discussing the project with your contractor, you can tell him everything that must be covered; he will make the assessment then give you a quote. Anything you forgot to tell him will cost you extra.

2. Know the Signs of a Bad Roofing Contractor

There are rogue contractors who will only rip you off so you must be careful.

The following are signs that a roofing contractor is far from trustworthy:

- Not fully licensed, bonded and insured. Do not trust the contractor’s word: Verify it or simply call Phone (800) 321-CSLB = 1-800-321-2752.

- When asked about cost, they do not discuss it in an open, clear or comprehensive manner. If you deal with such a contractor, expect additional costs to spring up along the way.

- They have a bad history of unresolved complaints from other clients. Check with the BBB for any unresolved issues or complaints. Review the reviews on Angie’s List; check their information on the Contractor’s License Board. Always call a couple of previous customers. Feel they are real and not paid. Even the best contractor cannot please everyone. There always someone who just can’t be pleased. But a lot? That is an indication there is something wrong with the contractor’s work or service. Stay away from them.

- You don’t feel comfortable about hiring a contractor. Sometimes, you get this gut feeling that you and the contractor cannot get along properly. If you feel that way, it is best to keep looking.

- The contractor’s rates are cheap, in fact way too cheap compared to others. When it is tempting to go for the lowest rate available, you must be wary because most roofers who have really low rates will end up charging for more than you are prepared to pay. Cheap contractors also rarely redo a project for free so if there’s a problem with the workmanship, they might ask you for additional payment before they fix it.

- They do not send a qualified estimator. A reliable roofing company will always send someone over to consult with you, make assessments, do actual measurements and discuss roofing materials with you.

3. Know Your Options

One thing you must understand before hiring a roofer: there are lots of fish in the sea.
You have a lot of options so don’t settle for the first contractor you find or hire the one that offers the cheapest rate. By speaking with several other contractors, you can determine which one is most suitable for your needs and who you can easily work with.

For many homeowners, the first consideration is always the price. This is understandable because we all need to save money. However, the cost should not be the deciding factor. You must weigh other factors too prior to making a choice. Keep in mind that you can’t always expect a good job from someone offering a cheap rate and the costliest rate doesn’t always mean the best service.

Speak with at least three different contractors and make comparisons. By doing this, you avoid paying for the highest rates in the industry as well as get to know more reasonable rates. Aside from being able to compare prices, interviewing several contractors will also let you know their relevant experience, specialties or whatever special offers they might have.

The best way for you to know your options is by doing your research. Go online and search for roofing companies and contractors near you and compare them. Find out each one’s work history and see how customers find their services. Ask relatives, friends or neighbors for their recommendations, they might know a good contractor you can check out or a company you must be wary of.

While researching, you should also take the time to learn some bits about roofing because basic knowledge can help you avoid getting scammed by unscrupulous roofers.

4. Know the Terms of Their Insurance Policy

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners commit when hiring roofing contractors is not bothering to ask about the company’s insurance policy and warranties.

When there are a few roofing companies that automatically include insurance in their package, there are many that don’t, so you need to ask to make sure.

The insurance should cover both client and worker so that in case an accident happens while the repair or installation is going on, you won’t be held liable. The roofer’s insurance can help cover you against anything unexpected. Ask for the proof of insurance and make sure that the policy is in effect through the duration of the project.

Warranty is also very important. You should know if the warranty covers only the roofing material or only the labor or both. Roofing material manufacturers offer warranty for their products and their conditions and limitations might be different from the contractors. Some of the things you must know pertaining to warranty are the dollar limits, whether or not it is prorated over the life of the roof, the life of the warranty, provisions that might void the warranty, etc. Only certified roofers would offer you certain additional warranty from the manufacturer.

The contractor must provide at least 2 years workmanship warranty and clearly discuss the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty. Don’t forget to get a copy of the proposed warranty.

5. Know What Should Be Included In the Written Agreement

Securing a copy of a written agreement is necessary because this will ensure that there will be no surprises along the road. It will provide you with a clear view of what is to be done.

The agreement, signed by you and the contractor, should clearly state the following:

- What materials are to be used
- Expected completion date
- Pricing details
- Payment schedules

Conclusion

The roof is the most neglected part of the house, yet it is the one part that takes the most beating. Any damage to the roof that is not properly repaired can affect the whole house, costing you more money and headache.

When it’s time for roofing repairs or replacement, choose to hire a trustworthy roofing company. You want someone reputable working on your roof, people who know what they are doing, are honest and can deliver as agreed.

Take note of the five things to know before hiring a roofer as these will help you locate a contractor you can trust. As a bonus, here are a few other things to consider when looking for a roofer:

- A website is not enough; the contractor must have a physical office, landline, business license and tax ID.

- Ask for references; a reputable contractor should have a lengthy list of customers who are satisfied with their work

- Find out if the contractor belongs to any regional or national industry associations which is an indication that they are indeed professionals

- A reputable company is financially stable and should be able to provide current financial information when asked

- Ask the contractor to explain quality control and their supervision procedures. Find out how many workers are needed and get the name of the person in charge of the project.

- Opt for the contractor that has the right experience, shows professionalism and gives importance to quality workmanship.

You don’t want your roof to come crashing down your head so seriously consider hiring a roofer when the time comes for repairs or replacements.

You might want to tackle the project yourself, especially if you are skilled in repairs but keep in mind that roofing repairs have special considerations and there are hazards involved. It is still best to go to a professional for help and with the tips you just received, finding a good contractor that won’t rip you off and give value for your money has become a lot easier.

What to Expect During Your Home’s Roof Replacement Project

Replacing your roof is an essential part of maintaining your home. A damaged or improperly maintained roof can cause thousands and dollars in damage to other parts of the home. Repairs only go so far, and eventually it will be time to replace your roof entirely. Replacing your roof can seem like a daunting task for the first time homeowner. Choosing between hundreds of professional roofing contractors can be confusing. Thankfully, the project of getting a new roof is not too complicated, and it helps to know what to expect.

The first step in any roof replacement project is obtaining estimates and choosing a contractor. It’s a good idea to research several companies. Make sure they have good reputations and are licensed in your state. Be sure to obtain estimates from several contractors before signing a contract, as roofing estimates can have a wide range. There are many factors that can influence the cost of a roof replacement. It’s good to know a little about them before you get too involved.

The size and slope of the roof, the materials being used, and the region of the country can all affect the final cost of the project. A roof that is particularly steep and slippery will cost more to replace than a roof that is more easily accessible. The height of the roof matters as well. Roofs on two-story homes are more expensive to replace than roofs on ramblers or ranchers. This is simply because it’s easier for the workers to access a roof that is closer to the ground. Also, like almost anything, prices vary depending on where you live. Roof replacements cost more in places where the general cost of living is higher. The frequency of roof replacements differs depending on the region of the county as well. Roofs in the Midwest generally need to be replaced more often than roofs in other parts of the country due to extreme weather. Likewise, homeowners in Southern California replace their roofs less often since the weather is usually mild year-round.

There are several different types of roofs you can have installed. The materials can range in price anywhere from $1 to $40 or more per square foot. The most common roofing material is asphalt shingles. These are relatively inexpensive and are usually guaranteed to last anywhere between 20 and 30 years. They come in may different colors to compliment the exterior of your home. Another form of roofing is wood shake, which usually costs $6 to $9 a square foot. These roofs are usually made of cedar and can last 12 to 25 years, but they require almost constant maintenance. Metal roofing such as copper or aluminum can cost $15-$20 a square foot. Tile roofs, such as terra cotta, are generally used in southwestern architecture and cost $6 to $9 a square foot. (Tiles are not recommended in areas with frequent rainfall, as they have a tendency to leak.) A slate roof is the most durable, though it is also the most expensive, and can cost up to $40 a square foot ($120,000 to replace a 3,000 square foot roof). Slate is generally used on upscale homes and can last up to 200 years or more depending on the quality.

Along with being inexpensive, asphalt shingles require little maintenance, making them the most popular roofing choice for American homeowners. While asphalt shingle roofs are often designed to last 25 or 30 years, the actual life span of your roof can vary depending on where you live. High speed winds, hurricanes, heavy storms, blizzards, and dramatic temperature fluctuations decrease the longevity of your roof. Estimates for replacing an asphalt shingled roof can range from $1,500 to $9,000 depending on the size of the roof as well as location.

The cost of a roof replacement project varies depending on where you live. A roof replacement costs less in the Midwest than it does in the Northeast. In places where the general cost of living is higher, roof replacements will cost more as well. If you live in the Midwest, you will need to replace your roof more often. High speed winds, tornadoes, blizzards, and ice storms will all wreck havoc on your roof. Temperature fluctuations can also damage roofs. In the desert the temperature can be over 100 degrees during the day and drop to 50 or 40 degrees at night. 20-year asphalt shingles in Arizona and New Mexico last on average only 15 years, due to sustained damage from temperature fluctuations. Homeowners in regions with mild weather can get away with more moderate roof repairs, putting off full replacements for longer periods of time.

Roof replacement estimates may vary depending on all of these factors (location, materials, etc.). The final cost once the work is completed may be higher than the initial estimate, as your roof may have some unforeseen damage that will add to the final cost . Underneath the shingles, your roof could be rotted or have water damage. Replacing the roof support system can add thousands of dollars to the bill, depending on the extent of the damage. This is a good incentive to keep your roof properly maintained and have it replaced on time.

When you’re choosing your roofing contractor, ask for references. You’ll definitely want to see examples of their work on local homes. When giving an estimate, a contractor will come to your house to inspect your roof. He’ll come up with a number that factors in the cost of materials and labor, including the cost of stripping and throwing away the old shingles. The estimate should include the cost of removal and disposal of the old roofing material. If not, ask about this to avoid surprises. There is a chance that there will be some unforeseen costs in the project, so it is good to avoid as many of these as possible. After the visit, they will send you a written contract. A contract from a roofing company should include a description of what is to be done, as well as when it is to be done and a schedule for payment. Having it all in writing can protect the homeowner later on. Be sure to shop around before settling on a specific contractor, as prices can vary considerably.

Once you’ve chosen your roofing materials and your contractor, it’s time to set a date for the project. The actual work of replacing the roof can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the roof. You should plan to have someone at home while the work is being done. If they have any questions or discover any additional problems with your roof, it helps that you are home to discuss things with them.

Before the workers arrive, it’s good to remove any items that may get in the way of their ladders. Climbing on roofs can be dangerous, even for professionals, so it’s best to stay out of their way. First, the roofers rip out all the old roofing shingles and replace any rotted or damaged wood in the roof. Next they lay a base, and then they lay the shingles. Roof work is noisy. Expect to hear a lot of hammering as well as people running around all over your roof. It’s not really an invasive home repair. You won’t have workmen coming inside your house. As long as you don’t mind the noise, it’s not much of a hassle.

When the old shingles have been stripped, any un-shingled portions of the roof should be covered with a tarp overnight to protect your home in case of rain or overnight storms.

Once your new roof is completed, make sure the workers have cleaned up all the debris that has fallen. When a roof is replaced, the workers usually toss the pieces of the old roof onto the ground or into a dump truck as they’re working. Once the bulk of the old material is disposed of, responsible companies will clean up after themselves to ensure customer satisfaction. They usually have a magnetic broom that picks up all the nails and other materials that can be hazardous as well as unsightly. You may find a shingle or two in your yard afterwards, which is perfectly normal.

When you have roof work done, you should never pay anything up front. You always pay after the job is completed. This is standard procedure. All reputable roofing companies operate this way.