The fateful day has finally come when you’re in need of a roof replacement. You’ve pushed it off for as long as humanly possible, only now you know that roof leak probably isn’t going to fix itself. So, where do you start? How do you go about hiring a reputable roofing contractor? Cousin Billy said he’d do it at the fraction of the price of the “professional guys”, remember? When it comes time to replace your roof, you want to make sure you’re working with an experienced, reputable roofer who will get the job done right the first time. No offense, Cousin Billy, but RoofCrafters has been repairing and replacing roofs for 28 years, and a lot of the time we see damages that have occurred due to shoddy workmanship by other careless roofers. We want you to avoid that at all costs, so we’ve written you this article. When you consider the cost and time it takes to replace a roof, you also want to make certain that the estimate and warranty you receive are both going to stand the test of time. In this article, you’ll learn about the 10 warning signs you’re working with the wrong roofing contractor so that you can know what to avoid, when to say enough is enough, and how you can save yourself a lot of hurt and money in the future. Let’s get started! Did Your Contractor Walk Your Roof? While it’s fairly easy to use Google Earth to rough out the amount of material needed to replace your roof, only by walking the roof and inspecting your attic can a roofer be able to produce an honest quote. A reputable roofer will take the time to examine the roof and everything connected with it before writing a quote. To do otherwise would lead to a lot of guesswork that could later come to haunt you when the roofer demands more money for the damage that should have been discovered before the estimate was written. Did Your Roofer Quote You a Lowball Price Only to Jack it Up During the Installation? This is a variation of the old bait and switch scam. Some roofers will underbid the competition only to later demand more money once the shingles are removed. While it’s possible that an old roof may have more than the average amount of rotten decking beneath the shingles and underlayment, make sure you see the damage before you authorize the work, or you could wind up being nickeled and dimed to death when the roofer soon points out other expensive repairs that weren’t included in the initial bid. Did Your New Roof Quickly Spring a Leak? This is a big red flag that indicates the roof or the flashing wasn’t installed properly. While the error could have been caused by an honest mistake that your roofer can easily repair, it could also be a symptom of deeper systemic problems. Cut-rate materials or fasteners could have been used to save money. Old underlayment or flashing could have been installed. While any of these underhanded tactics can save the roofer money, they are guaranteed to cost you big when your roof springs a leak or wears out years before its time. Beware of roofers who come in with a significantly lower bid than the competition. Did Your Roofer Neglect Certain Replacements? Just like shingles, roof vents have a limited useful lifetime. A reputable roofer will always include their replacement in the quote. That’s also why consumers need to read the itemized estimate to make sure that new roof vents have been included. Poor ventilation is one sure way to increase your utility bills and decrease the useful life of your new roof. Your roofer should also replace the drip edge. A drip edge is a thin strip of metal flashing that’s installed next to the gutters. Their task is to keep the rain from getting under the shingles to rot the wood that lies beneath. It also helps steer runoff into the gutter instead of letting it seep behind it, which could cause the wood that supports the gutters to rot. If you climb up on a ladder and look at the area where the shingles meet the gutters and see the shingles overhanging them, this is a sure sign that the roofer cut corners by excluding drip edge flashing. While this will work for a few years, what will inevitably happen is that the shingles will start to curl at the edges which will allow water to get beneath them. Have You Taken a Good Look at Your Roof? One of the first things that a competent roofer will do when they strip off the old shingles is to check the roof decking for signs of rot. If water-damaged wood isn’t replaced before new shingles are installed, the decking won’t hold the roof nails in place for long. This will result in leakage or loss of shingles after a windstorm. If rotted support timbers aren’t replaced, the result could be the collapse of a portion of the roof. Be on the lookout for this. Unless you climb up on a ladder, you can’t really appreciate your roof properly. What may look like a picture-perfect roofing job from the ground can expose obvious errors in installation from a higher vantage point. Since homeowners are only required to pay a portion of the quote upfront and the balance when the job is done, it would behoove you to take a good hard look at the final result up close before you sign off on the work. A properly installed roof should have no damaged or missing shingles. The flashing and roof vents should shine. The roofline should be ruler-straight. There should be no mismatched shingles or stains on the roof. Can You Communicate With Your Roofer? Whether it’s during or after installation, a reputable roofer should respond to a question or concern about a roof within 24-hours. If your roofer either fails to or takes forever to respond, this is a sign that the roofer cares more about the bottom line than about establishing a long-term relationship with their customers. Remember, you and your home should be your roofing contractor's top priority. If they can’t take the time to respond to a question, comment, or concern you may have, chances are they don’t care enough about the job to complete quality work. Is Your Roof Warranty Worth the Paper it’s Written On? While a roof warranty is important to every homeowner, it only works if the roofing company honors it. That’s why you need to make sure that any roofer you hire is not only licensed and insured but a local roofer who has been in town for a long time. If your roofer moves out of town or goes out of business, the warranty you receive won’t be worth the paper it’s written on. Your Roofer Should… A reputable roofer will always provide you with an itemized estimate that lists what is and isn’t included. A reputable roofer will never hesitate to show you their certifications, their insurance, and their references. A reputable roofer will never ask you to pay for a job upfront. A reputable roofer should never ask you to pull a permit or purchase materials to complete a job. Choose the Right Roofing Contractor The First Time Apart from being critically important for comfort and structural integrity, roofing services also rank among the biggest house upgrades. So before you hire a roofing company, it is a good idea to have a detailed conversation with them about your roof replacement. Make sure they have proper licensure and an experienced team to work with. Also, make sure that they understand your roofing issues and have at least some kind of prompt solution. Ask them to explain how they plan to fix your problem and if they have alternate solutions. All of this research and questioning will help you determine if the company is trustworthy enough to handle your roofing issues. Don’t worry, you won’t have to memorize these questions. Download our free contractor checklist which includes several different questions and prompts to ask your roofer, and prepare you to hold the company accountable for its quality of work and services. Now, you know the tips and tricks to finding the right roofing contractor and avoiding the wrong ones. If you’re ready to schedule your inspection and get your roofing project up and running, drop us a line on our contact page. One of our eager representatives will reach out to you at your earliest convenience. In the meantime, feel free to browse through the extensive resources located in our learning center. There, you can find insightful insider information about the roofing industry and the services they provide.
When it comes to expenses related to maintaining your home, replacing your roof is one of the highest. That’s why every homeowner should want to get as much life out of their roof as possible. One of the questions that roofers like me get asked frequently is, “how long should my roof last?” My answer is usually, “that depends.” What most people don’t realize is that all roofs are not created equal. By that, I mean that when it comes to the life expectancy of a roof, there are a number of variables that have to be considered. The experts at RoofCrafters have nearly 3 decades of combined experience, and we’ve worked on a lot of roofs. We can be the first to vouch that no roof is alike. All of this being said, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably wondering how long your roof is going to last you. Although it’d be simpler to hit you with the “that depends”, I like proactive homeowners, so I'll give you the facts. In this article, you’ll learn about the different variables that affect the longevity of your roof, and some signs it’s time to replace it. Let’s get started! What Kind of Roof Do You Have? Depending on the type of material, used, there is a huge difference between their expected lifetimes. While asphalt roof systems have an expected lifetime of between 15-25 years, architectural shingles can last 25-35 years. However, this pales in comparison to a clay tile roof that typically lasts between 35-50 years. Metal roofs can last for 50-70 years or more, depending on the kind of metal used in their construction. Slate roofs can last for a century. The chief differences between them are price and weight. Asphalt and Architectural Shingles If you buy a new home, chances are it’s covered with asphalt shingles, which are the least expensive type of roof covering available today. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since asphalt shingles are inexpensive to install and maintain. They’re also simple to replace when they’re damaged or displaced. While both asphalt and architectural shingles are made of the same material, the difference between the two is their density. Architectural shingles are as much as three times denser than standard asphalt shingles. That’s why they have longer manufacturer warranties and are considered more attractive than typical asphalt varieties. That’s also why architectural shingles are well worth considering when it comes time to redo your roof. Clay Roofing Clay tiles are extremely durable, require little to no maintenance, and are long-lasting. They’re also more than twice the price of architectural shingles and weigh significantly more than their asphalt counterparts. This is one reason why you normally only see them on premium homes near or on the beach. It takes a substantial structure to handle the weight of clay or slate roofs. Metal Roofing When most people think of metal roofs, they assume that they’re expensive and noisy. This assumption holds little truth since standing-seam aluminum panels cost slightly more than architectural shingles and the pitter-patter of rain on a metal roof is abated by the underlayment that’s applied below the roof panels to mitigate noise. Adding insulation to the attic reduces the noise even more. The difference in sound between an asphalt roof and a metal roof is only 5-10 decibels. However, the difference in the durability of metal roofs can be 2-3 times as long when compared with asphalt roof systems. Metal roofs also require little maintenance and are designed to shrug off high wind and torrential rain. Metal roof panels are a greener choice since they are 100% recyclable and are typically constructed of recycled metal. Should I Maintain My Roof? For the most part, roofs are out of sight and out of mind. Unless you find a shingle lying on your lawn or detect a growing stain on a ceiling panel, homeowners usually don’t give their home’s roof a second thought. Perhaps they should, especially after a major storm. While the roof is designed to shrug off wind and rain, as roofs age, they become more susceptible to the elements. So too does roof flashing. Everything from solar radiation and frost to leaf litter and tree limbs can take their toll on roofs. By taking the time to make sure that leaf litter doesn’t accumulate on your roof, you will reduce the incidence of water intrusion and mold. By getting up on a ladder to take a look at your roof, you’ll see wear and tear that aren’t apparent from the ground. You can also see if any tree limbs are growing too close to the roof for comfort. The secret to making your home’s roof last as long as possible is to make sure that minor signs of deterioration don’t become major sources of leaks. Signs That Your Roof Needs to be Replaced Just as an old car shows signs of age by requiring a lot more maintenance than a newer car, so can roofs. Some of the signs that your roof is on its last legs are readily apparent: Missing shingles. Missing, bent or broken shingles are one sign of age. Rot or soft spots on the roof may indicate water intrusion or a compromised underlayment. Signs of moss or mold shouldn’t be ignored, since they can force shingles apart. They also speed up the process of rot. Gaps in the flashing or cracks in the caulking. These will inevitably result in leaks and/or mold. Leaks in the attic and/or a sagging roofline can indicate rotted roof timbers that can compromise the structural integrity of your home. In the end, it all comes down to the type and quality of materials used, weather conditions, frequency of roof repairs, and the quality of roofing services provided to you. It’s super important to make sure that you’re taking proper care of your roof. Remember, if you take care of your roof, it will take care of you. If you have any further concerns related to a roof’s lifespan, want to know more about the materials used on your roof installation, or just have a few questions, drop us a line on our website and we’d be happy to help in any way we can. If you have noticed any of the signs that your roof may be in need of maintenance, check out our article, “What Causes Roof Leaks?” to get a better understanding of what could potentially be causing your roofing problem.
When it rains, it pours. Especially in Florida. Known as the hurricane capital of the USA, the Sunshine State is renowned for named storms and even pop-up thunderstorms that occur on a daily basis during the long hot summer. Any squall can pack a punch that combines wind, rain, and hail. If you’ve ever hunkered down to weather a hurricane, then you know the aftermath of a storm can leave downed trees and power lines in its wake, along with a fair share of property damage. At RoofCrafters, we've serviced homes in the Southeast for nearly 3 decades, so we know just how bad these storms can get. We've even had storm damage done to our own roofs, and the stress of what to do next is enough to make anyone go crazy. That's right, Mother Nature spares no one. Not even the experts. All of this being said, should you find yourself in a situation where your home sustains roof storm damage, do you know what to do to minimize the damage and how to file a claim with your insurance company? If not, it's a good thing you're here. In this article, you'll learn what storm damage looks like, what to do once you spot it, and what your next steps should be. Let's get started!
To everything, there is a season. Unless you’re living in Florida, then you get the rainy season, and the hot, sweltering, “my face is melting” season. No in-between. Both of these seasons have something in common, though, and that’s roofing problems. The blistering heat causes your shingles to crack and curl, and the intense rain causes storm damage and roof leaks. How lovely. The Sunshine State may be a misunderstood beast, but RoofCrafters knows that any good roofing company can conquer whatever Florida may throw at them. With over 28 years of experience in the roofing industry, we’ve never shied away from a weather-related roofing challenge, nor should any company you’re scoping out. With that being said, we’re glad you’re here because that means you’re in the process of finding the best roofing company for your next project. Whether you’re wondering if your roof has what it takes to survive another Florida storm, or whether you just want to know if it’s better to repair or replace your existing roof, there are a few things you need to know before you start searching for local roofers. In this article, you’ll learn how to find the perfect roofing company for your project. Let’s dive in! Who Should I Call? Finding listings for local roofers isn’t all that difficult. Making sure a roofer is honest, conscientious, courteous, and experienced is another matter. That’s because it’s all too easy to advertise online these days. I may sound like my mother, but it’s true! Everyone from experienced roofers to brand new roofing companies and even roofing brokers vie for visibility on the web. While you can look for reviews and testimonials online, the only way to know whether you’re dealing with a reputable roofer is to ask for and contact previous customers. Ask them if the roofer they hired did the job on time and on budget. Ask if the crew was neat and courteous or if the customer spent days cleaning up the yard and picking up nails. Talk to Your Neighbors If you see any homes in your neighborhood that have a new roof, not only can you get a sense of the quality of work done by a roofing company, but you can also ask your neighbors what kind of experience they had with the roofer. Consider asking: How professional and timely was the company? How responsive was the staff to any concerns? Would they recommend the roofing company to their family and friends? How Much Should I Pay? While nobody wants to spend more than they need to when it comes to replacing a roof, that doesn’t mean that the lowest bidder always represents the best deal for the consumer. Just as there is no one-size-fits-all roof, the same can be said for roofing contracts. The last thing you want to do is hire a roofing company only to find out after the job is started that flashing, insulation, and replacement of rotten wood that lays beneath your old shingles are going to cost you extra. You also want to make sure that the roofer uses quality fasteners instead of the cheapest that money can buy. This last fact alone could mean the difference between a roof that lasts for decades, as opposed to one that needs to be replaced in ten years. You should also find out who is going to pull the needed permits, you or them. Of more concern to a homeowner should be how much they need to pay in advance for the project. Most roofers will require up to half of the quoted cost to be paid in advance. A customer should never be required to pay the balance until the job is finished. This also provides the roofer with an incentive to complete the job. How Will I Be Protected? Roofing has risks, both to the crew as well as to you and your home. You need to find out up front who is going to be liable if a worker falls off a ladder or the roof. Are the workers required to wear safety harnesses while the job is underway? What happens if someone falls through the roof or is hit on the head by something dropped from it? Who’s responsible if your home or your car gets damaged by the crew? What is the company policy regarding the policing of castoff nails on your property? Make sure the company is licensed and insured with both liability and worker’s comp before you let anyone up on your roof. Also, pay attention to the warranty. A roof warranty is vital to the longevity of your roof, but it could also have a more immediate impact on your home should a leak pop up shortly after it’s replaced. In actuality, a roofing job should contain two warranties: one for the materials and one for the workmanship. As for material warranties, make sure they not only include the shingles, but the labor and installation costs should any part of the roofing system fail before the warranty runs out. Also, be wary of “Lifetime Warranties,” since this can be defined in a number of different ways, including as short as 5-years. Look for exclusions and any other conditions that can cause the warranty to be voided. Is The Company Reputable? Need I remind you that the well-dressed young man or woman who shows up to give you a roof quote isn’t going to be part of the crew that performs the actual service. You need to ask how long the roofing company has been in business. If you search the company name followed by the word “complaints,” how many negative reviews pop up? If you query the Better Business Bureau, what kind of rating does the company have? A flashy website does not make for a quality roofing company. Just like a home warranty, you need to carefully read the roofing contract before you sign on the dotted line. Some of the things you should be concerned with are the start and end date of the project, a list of all included material and supplies, building permits, scheduled inspections, the schedule for every stage of the project, the cellphone numbers of the supervisor, construction manager, and the general contractor, plus the terms of payment, right of cancellation and any potential liens that could be placed on your property. Am I Ready to Find a Great Roofing Company Once you’ve found several companies that deserve your gold star, then it’s time to gather some quotes. Again, the lowest quote isn’t going to equate to the best service. Just as the most expensive quote isn’t going to mean you’ll be getting top-notch materials and warranties. Trust your gut, and choose the company you believe is the best fit for the job. If it’s staying within you’re budget that you’re concerned about, a reputable roofing company will offer you a financing option. RoofCrafters believes that a beautiful new roof that protects you and your family shouldn’t have to break the bank. Check out our financing page to learn more. If you’re ready to begin the journey to finding the roofing company that’s best suited for you, download our “Top 10 Most Critical Questions You Want To Ask Your Potential Roofing Contractor” to get started. In this free guide, you’ll learn the most important questions to ask your potential roofing contractor, along with the most frequently asked roofing project questions and their answers.
One of the things every homeowner wants to last the longest is the roof. It’s one of the most expensive parts of the home to replace, and who wants to do that before it’s necessary? The key to making sure your roofing system thrives all the way up until the bitter end is routine maintenance. We get it, nobody likes to do this part, but it’s maintenance that’s going to make your roof last longer. Still, for the most part, all too many homeowners ignore their roofs. Maybe it’s due to the fact that the roof is out of sight and that it’s out of mind. This philosophy works until you detect a leak, or worse when you finally get around to replacing your roof and the roofing company finds a lot of rotted roof decking, which could’ve been prevented by proper maintenance. At RoofCrafters, we’ve been repairing and installing roofs for nearly 3 decades, and one of the most common comments we get from homeowners is that they regret not taking proper care of their roofs when they still had the time. We’ve seen our fair share of nightmare roofing situations, and it’s sad to say that a majority of these problems were preventable if the homeowners did their due diligence in roof maintenance. All of this being said, if you’re reading this article, you are doing your due diligence because you’re educating yourself on prolonging the life of your roof. Go you! It’s a good thing you’re here because in this article you’ll learn how to make your roof live up to its full potential by following the top maintenance tips provided to you by the experts here at RoofCrafters. Let’s get started! Remove Leaves and Debris Leaves and tree litter might not seem like such a big deal, but it’s the number one cause of water intrusion on any roof. That’s because leaf litter and twigs can act as a dam that backs up water. When shingles can no longer shed rain efficiently, the water will try to find another way out, usually by slipping under shingles. Wet leaf litter adds weight to your roof which can eventually cause it to sag or even fail. If you do nothing else to maintain your roof, make sure you sweep away the leaves and twigs that pile up on your roof every autumn. Clear Your Gutters Clogged gutters can cause leaks and added stress to your roofing system. Just as with leaf litter, clogged gutters can and will cause water to back up into the house. If left unchecked, the gutters of your home will turn into terrariums where everything from grass to shrubs and trees will take root and begin to grow. Once the leaves turn into dirt, the water that should run down the downspout will have nowhere else to go but out on the roof. This could eventually cause the gutters to collapse under their own weight. If you haven’t checked your gutters in a year or more, don’t wait until it causes your roof to leak. If you live in a heavily wooded area, you should consider getting gutter guards installed to keep your gutters from clogging. Trim Your Trees Another way you can protect your roof from unnecessary damage is to have your tree limbs trimmed every year. In Florida, some trees can grow as much as two feet in a year. If any of the branches of your shade trees happen to touch your shingles, you can rest assured that in no time they will begin to scour or even scrape the shingles they touch right off your roof. Don’t think that because a tree limb isn’t in direct physical contact with your roof that it’s no threat. The next time you have a passing thunderstorm, watch how your trees whip around. If limbs are within 3-6 feet of the roof, a windstorm can cause them to come into contact with your shingles. Be Mindful of Moss Moss loves damp places. When it comes to a roof, these slimy green or black growths are prone to take root under the eaves where there’s less direct sunlight or in places that remain wet the longest. If you see any kind of growth on your roof, mix up a solution of equal parts water and bleach to spray on the offending areas. An even better solution is to install a zinc strip along the ridge of your roof. As the rain washes over the strip, zinc particles are released to coat the roof with a protective layer that prevents fungus, moss, and algae from growing. Check Your Flashing and Skylight Roof flashing needs to be undamaged and properly installed to prevent leaks around chimneys and vents. If you notice even minor damage to the flashing, ignoring it will only make things worse. Most minor flashing damage can be repaired with a polyurethane sealer. If the damage is more significant, call a roofer to repair or replace the flashing to prevent or stop a leak. As for skylights, their seals are notorious for cracking over time. Since they live in direct sunshine, you can’t expect them to last forever. Before water starts dripping from a compromised seal, it would be a good idea to inspect any skylight on a yearly basis and repair or replace any cracked seals. Flat Roof Maintenance If you have a flat roof, you need to be cognizant of any cracks, blisters, or seam failures that can give water easy access into your home. For smaller cracks or holes, you can buy roofing sealers from any hardware store. While it won’t last forever, it can prolong the life of a flat roof. For blisters or seam failures, your best bet is to call on a professional roofing company to assess and repair the damage. Bent or missing shingles are the quickest ways for a leak to get started. After the next passing squall, go outside and take a look up at the roof. If you see any missing, broken, or bent shingles, you need to have someone replace them sooner rather than later. Can I Maintain My Roof to Extend its Lifespan? Yes, you absolutely can maintain your roof to extend its lifespan. In fact, everyone should! Your roof is one of, if not the most, important components of your home. It protects you, your family, and your precious belongings from the elements. Whether you want to or not, you need to take care of your roof. If you don’t, you’ll be dishing out some serious cash on a new roof prematurely. Even though you’re a roof maintenance guru now, you still need to keep up with your yearly professional maintenance inspections. If you’re due for your yearly check-up, schedule an inspection with RoofCrafters today, and an eager professional will set up an inspection at your earliest convenience. In the meantime, feel free to browse through the extensive resources located in our learning center. They’re free to you and are a wonderful educational resource for all roofing services. I recommend reading “5 Maintenance Tips to Extend Your Roofs Lifespan” so that you can keep your roof operating at its very best.
When it comes time for the annual block party barbecue, your luxurious shingles or chic metal roof are often receiving all of the credit from your neighbors. I mean sure, it looks fantastic, it’s durable, and it protects you and your family, but the part that makes your neighborhood “ooh” and “aah” is only a mere component of an entire system. What about the unsung hero that nobody praises?
“Okay, how important really is roof maintenance?” Homeowners everywhere ask themselves this question, usually while sitting in the driveway staring at their leaf-covered roof because they’re scared to walk into a home full of screaming kids, dirty laundry, and unwashed dishes. We’ve all been there.
Roof tear-offs and replacements can be a pain to deal with, plain and simple. When you're unsure of what a tear-off even is, how much it's going to cost you, and when you need one, it can be difficult to see the urgency or even importance of having one done. Do you always need a tear-off before a replacement? Can you just go over the old roof? Is this going to cost you an arm and a leg? Yeah, it's a lot. At RoofCrafters, we've been assisting homeowners like you with their own roof tear-off and replacement projects since '94, and the confusion on the process was just as prevalent back then, too. The satisfaction of providing families with a beautiful new roof to protect them is wonderful, don't get us wrong. However, being able to walk you through the process and educate you so that you feel comfortable and knowledgeable throughout the entire duration of your tear-off and replacement is the greatest gift. If you're reading this article, you're probably considering having your roof replaced, and you're wondering what the average cost to tear off your old one prior to that is going to be. We're glad you're here because in this article you'll learn when a tear-off is necessary, what happens during the tear-off process, the average cost to tear off and replace your roof, and whether or not your insurance can give you a helping hand. Let's get started!
There’s nothing like enjoying a good thunderstorm through the window in the comfort of your own home. That is until the roof above you starts to crack, and before you know it, the water’s leaking all over your living room. Kids, get the pots and pans, and hurry! At RoofCrafters, we know this must feel like a nightmare that has become reality. We’ve been helping homeowners mend their storm-damaged roofs for nearly 30 years, and we’ve heard all the horror stories. We believe that where there’s a will, there’s always a way. If you’re suffering from a storm-damaged roof, RoofCrafters has you covered with any service you made need, whether it’s a roof repair or a total installation. We’ve got your back. Storm damage is a pressing matter that has to be dealt with promptly to avoid any further damage to your roof and your home in general. If you’re reading this article, it’s safe to say that you’re experiencing some storm damage and unsure how to navigate it. In this article, you’ll learn about the different types of storm damage, and how to address the repair process. Let’s jump right in
Roof tear-offs can be an inconvenience, especially when you don’t know what insurance will be covering, and what you’ll be paying out of pocket. The stress of untimeliness and expenses for a large roofing project alone is enough for people to put necessary work off for months, sometimes even years.