Choosing the Right Roofing Pro for Your Project…
Searching for the right residential roofing contractor for your roof replacement project can be a daunting task. There are endless tips available online, as well as horror stories about dishonest contractors that have left good people in very bad situations.
The key details that homeowners are looking for seem simple…
A roofing company that is:
- Fair Pricing
- Quality Work
- Delivers on All Promises
- Service After the Sale
Seems simple enough right?
It seems like every residential roofing contractor business proclaims they fit the bill and are the best of the best. You will immediately hear all the reasons why they are the best and sales tactics will fly like fireworks on the 4th of July. If you’re like most homeowners it can begin to feel pretty uncomfortable and uneasy to make a decision.
There are thousands of roofing companies in the Dallas Fort Worth area. This is primarily because there are millions of homes in the thirteen counties that make up the greater DFW metroplex. Our region also sees some of the most consistent severe weather, including high wind and hail, with each years storm season. This leads to a consistently high demand to replace shingle roofs on homes that have been damaged or deteriorated.
Most contractors representing themselves as roofers are capable of simply removing and replacing shingles. The downside is that the industry is plagued with roofers that often place profit before anything else. There are many ways to cut corners in delivering a residential roof replacement project that even totally capable contractors fall in to putting profits before their customer. So how are you to know if everything was done right? Next year when we see high winds again will your roof perform as designed. If your roof was to leak the next time there is a big storm will the contractor respond in a timely manner and resolve the issue with the same level of enthusiasm as they had when selling you on choosing them for your project?
During your roofs installation the smallest details like the number of nails used in each individual shingle is very, very important. Using a nail less per shingle is viewed by some low quality installers as a way to save a few minutes time and a few dollars more of profit. Sound ridiculous? It is, but it happens every day. Cutting corners on proper installation can save a contractor a few hundred dollars and boost their profit by the same. All the while they have installed a roof that may look fine to the untrained eye, but the overall performance and longevity is cut in half or more.
The components of a quality asphalt shingle roof system and proper installation methods…
These are the 9 key components:
Existing Shingle Roof Tear-off and Roof Decking Preparation
When removing your existing roof it must be assured that the wood decking portion is not damaged and is suitable for the new roof installation. The wood decking should have all nails possible removed and any others driven into the wood so that they are perfectly flush. The entire raw deck should be inspected to ensure it is perfectly smooth and free of all debris.
Proper Attic Ventilation
Some older homes, and even some newer, may have less than adequate attic ventilation. Over the last several decades knowledge about how shingles perform and are affected by the environment has grown substantially. One of the key factors in ensuring that your new asphalt shingle roof provides the longevity you should expect involves controlling the attic temperature.
Drip Edge Metal
The entire perimeter of your homes roof needs to have a metal edging that protects the transition from the shingles edge to the wood face, or fascia, of your homes roof edges. The metal edge ensures that rain runoff is guided away from the roofs edge. There is a small curved edge on the metal that assists in making the dripping water kick away from the fascia material and not just run down it.
It is possible to re-roof a home while maintaining the existing drip edge metal if it is found to be in good condition, but rarely is that a best practice. The drip edge metal is very inexpensive, so in the overall consideration of your newly installed roofing system it should be replaced if not in excellent condition both structurally and cosmetically. Even when rain gutters are utilized the drip edge metal must be in place. Modern rain gutters actually tuck behind the properly installed drip edge metal.
Starter Asphalt Shingles
In the past roofers would utilize a primary shingle for their starter row by turning it around backwards to line the perimeter of the roof line to start the shingle installation. If done properly with the older method, the tabs were cut off and the remaining solid part of the shingle was used as the starter shingles around the entire roofs perimeter edge.
Accessory Products, Including Exhaust Vents, Boots, Jacks and Flashing
There are hundreds of products available to achieve waterproofing the various vents and pipes that protrude from your roofs deck. When you are completing a shingle roof replacement it is imperative that each of these accessory items is inspected for wear. Seasonal weather changes, along with severe weather, take a toll on these items after years of exposure. This is a component of your roof systems materials that you don’t want to shortcut.
The primary roofing shingle product represents as much as 99% of what you see when new roof system installation is complete. They are what makes up “the field” of the roof. Asphalt roofing shingles come in a wide variety of styles, colors and quality. Typically, the heavier the shingle the more expensive they are.
The older style of shingle that is still used today, as the most budget friendly option, are called strip shingles or 3-tab shingles. They are a single layered roofing shingle that has the look of 3 uniform “rectangle tabs”.
Dimensional, or laminated shingles (sometimes also referred to as architectural shingles) are a heavier shingle that consists of 2 layers laminated together during the manufacturing process. They have become the most commonly utilized style of shingle product over the recent decades. The top of the 2 layers are designed with a non-uniform pattern that is meant to emulate the look of cedar wood shakes. Because they are thicker and heavier, they have a much higher resistance to both wind and hail impact. There is a wide range of laminated shingle products in both style and cost.
You want a roofing contractor that will shoot you straight about the ins and outs of each shingle manufacture and particular product options. There is a ton of jargon that goes along with talking about shingle options. Make sure your contractor is asking you plenty of questions about what you care about, not just telling you why what they want to offer you is so great. There are literally dozens of great options in each price range and you deserve to have your needs and desires considered in making a selection.
Most roofing contractors tend to focus on touting the manufacture warranty period for shingles as their primary selling point. You will hear anywhere from 25 years to lifetime warranties. The shingle warranty is definitely an important consideration in selecting your new roofing system. It is also very important to note that shingle warranties all come with a long list of fine print and red tape that make the length of warranty stated kind of deceiving.
In the North Texas area your roof’s shingles will be subject to blistering heat, freezing conditions, high winds, and the occasional hail storm. That mixture of exposure is brutal on shingles. The warranty offered by most manufactures isn’t going to guarantee the majority of concerns related to the natural exposure the shingles will sustain. Most manufactures are simply guaranteeing that their shingle product is free of manufacturing defects. Unfortunately, unless a defect is glaringly obvious there is usually something that a manufacture can blame to attempt denying any liability.
It is important to consider the fine print details composed in each manufactures warranty so that you can at least understand what is actually warranted. Too often folks are mislead about warranties and what the seemingly long lengths of time actually cover. In our opinion CertainTeed Corp., Atlas Roofing Corp., and Malarkey Roofing Products are the three manufactures that, in most instances, represent the most real protection for the consumer.
Hip & Ridge Cap Shingles
Just like the primary roofing shingles themselves, there are numerous options for selecting hip and ridge cap shingles. The default for many roofing contractors is to use the lowest cost material. They will utilize a strip or 3-tab shingle product that hopefully matches well enough. They cut the shingles into 3 pieces and apply it as the hip and ridge cap. We find that most homeowners are never consulted about the options available for hip and ridge material.
When your roof system is using a dimensional shingle, the cut 3-tab hip and ridge tends to detract from the overall look of the completed roof. With dimensional shingles we highly recommend considering the manufactures custom made hip and ridge products. Hip and Ridge Cap shingle products come in a wide variety of thickness and profiles. They are certain to color match perfectly and can provide an enhanced look to your new roof that adds to the overall curb appeal of your home. You can also upgrade to some of the designer styles in hip and ridge cap material for very little difference in cost. It is definitely an option that every homeowner should be presented with to make the decision for themselves.
City Permit Issued
If you live within city limits it is common that your city may require a permit to be issued prior to beginning your roof replacement project. Yes the local government wants their little piece of the pie! Not all cities require a permit when the project consists solely of re-roofing an existing asphalt shingle roof.
If your city requires a permit it is important that one be applied for and issued. There are several reasons that cities require the application for permit with construction projects. One of the key reasons, most important to a homeowner, is that the permit is an official record of the project having been completed. Insurance companies, realtors and other interested parties will check permit records as a concrete way to confirm the completion of a home project such as a shingle re-roof. The permit record is the first signal that a proper project was completed.
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Harvey Roofing & Construction proudly provides roof repair and roof replacement services to: Burleson, Joshua, Crowley, Cleburne, Rio Vista, Whitney, Granbury, Glen Rose, Crowley, Godley, Mansfield, Midlothian, Cedar Hill, Waxahachie, Alvarado, Fort Worth, Haltom City, Everman, Forest Hill, White Settlement, Arlington, Pantego, Grand Prairie, Keller, Haslet, Benbrook, Aledo, Annetta, Willow Park, Azle, Weatherford, Springtown, Saginaw, North Richland Hills, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Watauga, Irving, Colleyville, Grapevine, Southlake, Roanoke, & surrounding areas.