The minute that you notice you have a problem with your roof is the time you want to schedule a professional to come out and take a look at what potential damage might be causing the problem. Even the smallest of issues with a rope pertaining to a broken tile that's causing a leak or a torn asphalt shingle can turn into a much bigger problem over time. Identifying the problem quickly is the only way that you can ensure to save money before that issue gets much larger. some environments around the country are very use to lots of rain and lots of wind however in the San Antonio area we are not always accustomed to a lot of rain but we are very accustomed to strong winds and damaging hail often accompanied by rain. Great advice can be taken from roofers from around the country such as in Seattle where they receive a lot of rain one particular roofer had some great ways to spot those problems And I hope to relate those problems to you on a local level. The number one thing that you can do when you spot a small issue with a roof is schedule a free roof estimate. Admittedly we do not always spend all of our time as people on top of our roof we all have other jobs that we must attend to on a daily basis so when you see something as they say in New York say something.
How to spot a roof problem
The first thing is just being aware of the weather. Spotting problems typically come as a result of inclement weather. There's an old adage that talks about out of sight out of mind. We typically don't pay attention to anything as long as it's working well. My dad had a way of saying if it ain't broke don't fix it. However maintenance is the key to anything performing well. Your roof is the number one defense to protecting everything inside of your home. Think about all the valuables that you have and all of the irreplaceable pictures and things that you would not like to have to replace or couldn't replace if you had a leaky roof. roofing problems have a tendency to get worse before they get better so paying attention on a regular basis to simple things like your roof is the best advice I could give anyone.
Why do you want to take care of your roof? Because the roof if untreated or on maintenance can lead to many other problems in your home. Such as expensive water damage to your drywall or plaster irreplaceable items such as paintings or pictures as I mentioned before as well as a number of hassles that you might have to take off work which could cost you even more because of your lack of attention to what might not be an obvious problem to you right now but after this article in reading this some of the tips that I will give you will help you prevent a lot of pain in the future.
you might have heard it said before an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. It's so true when it comes to roofs. One of the things that I notice when doing a preliminary roof inspection is first I take into consideration has there been some weather recently that has been really extreme? if there's been extreme weather and you see a lot of tree limbs down or your neighbor's calling roofing contractors are picking up sticks in the yard here is a clear sign that you need to pay attention to your roof as well. If you go to your downspouts around your house and notice several granules that look like sand that have been washed out this is a clear indication that pounding rain potentially has washed away some of the protection on your asphalt roof. This only applies to asphalt roofs however it's a great lead indicator that you need to hire someone to come out to do a roofing estimate as soon as possible. Sometimes these granules could be there after a freshly new installed roof but if your roof has been on for several years and you're noticing this this is a clear indication that you need to pay more attention to it.
As I mentioned before an ounce of protection is worth more than a pound of cure. where that comes into play is looking at small repairs that can prevent the larger repairs that you might need down the road if gone unattended. Spotting these small repairs early is key to saving your family money time and the valuables that you have in your house that are very irreplaceable.
My suggestion is the schedule regular roof inspections
As a leader in the San Antonio area in roofing we do a great job installing roofs however we don't do a great job of predicting weather. Even your local weatherman has a hard time determining from week to week what kind of weather is coming our way. The only way to get around this is to consider scheduling a regular roof repair every 6 months or so or especially after damaging winds and rain or potential hail.
We know where to look for the damage and we find it before it becomes a major issue saving you the trouble of having to replace an entire roof and paying a very expensive deductible. Having a regular roof inspection can not only improve the lifespan but extend the lifespan of your roof. Replacing an entire roof is a major expense and if you are not paying attention to it when you get ready to sell your home it could be a major negotiation tool for the buyer to reduce the offer price of your home. Think of your roof like tires on a car. Tires on the car good tires might have a life expectancy of 60 to 100,000 mi. However we all drive our car differently and that lifespan can either be more or less depending on how we drive the car. Similarly our roof and the geology and geography of where we live affects us greatly.
Here's a simple visual inspection you can do yourself. Take a look at your own book I often recommend to my customers that you take a pair of binoculars and look at the roof. Not getting on the roof is always a good idea for saved the issues if you don't feel comfortable dealing with heights. Sometimes you're in San Antonio we have some very high roofs and you might not have a ladder that can reach it. However binoculars can give you a very clear view of potential damage under roof. Another good simple diagnosis would be getting into your attic and looking for potential places where there might be leaks. Always look at the joints where the OSB or plywood comes together. It should be obvious after a heavy rain if there are any leaks another thing to look for is look for wet insulation. Wet installation is a harbinger of really bad mold. If you've been experiencing headaches black mold could be the potential culprit. you do not want this to continue because mold can multiply very quickly and become a health problem for you and your family. In some cases mold has caused many problems for families and it has to be completely remediation and taken out. mold problems can cause major health issues like the inability to breathe or shortness of breath as well as migraine headaches.
What are some common signs of roof problems?
as I mentioned before with a good pair of binoculars you can see most of the problems if you know where to look. If you do spot any problems you can give us a call and we can confirm any suspicions you might have in regards to potential damage. Catching those quickly makes it easier for us to perform the necessary repairs so your property can be properly protected.
What should you look for?
if it's a shingle roof one of the obvious things you would look for are broken or missing shingles sometimes the wind can actually blow a shingle sideways it may still be there but a vigilant eye will be able to catch the problem quickly. Also alternating color patches or shingles that might be littering your yard or your neighbor's yard is a obvious giveaway to issues that you will be having.
Other things to look for. as I mentioned previously after a large storm it's important that you go outside and look often the visual things get taken care of first The tree limbs down the litter in the yard all of these things are the things that were asked to pick up and be a good neighbor first by doing so. Sometimes we're not always looking for other things that might be a dead giveaway to roof damage. Keep a close eye out if large tree limbs are flying around it's very possible that they're doing damage to your roof as well.
Cracked flashing is another thing you want to look at with your binoculars.
What is flashing? Flashings that thin piece of metal that runs down the edges for the valley of your roof we typically install it under shingles you'll often hear it referred to as just what I mentioned a valley so think of where your roof comes together in a v-shape. This barrier once compromised can be an open gap for water debris and potential animals to crawl in and make a new home. these areas gone unattended have been areas where I've been on roof inspections before and found several animals that find new homes. Aside from just water having a barrier that's broken can be very unsanitary. Imagine having raccoons or rats living in your attic and all the feces that comes with it.
Due diligence will keep you healthy and maintain the life of the expected roof. These things are true with not only tile roofing but asphalt roofing as well.
Cracked vent booting. What is cracked fence booting? Booting is simply a rubber or polymer that is used on roof fence to cover the small pipes that come out of your roof. These help get rid of excess moisture and over a period of time ultraviolet rays can actually damage and create what is a type of rubber rot. We probably all seen tires that have set out in the summer for years on end and they become brittle and easily breakable. It's important to make sure that over a period of time that taking a good look at these and making sure that the integrity of them is intact is the best way to keep that barrier from the outside out in the inside nice and dry.
Do you have skylights? skylights are a great way to introduce outside and natural light into your home. Although skylights are absolutely wonderful they can also be problematic if not maintenance for installed incorrectly. It's important that you while opening them and cleaning them inspect the edges making sure that they close properly and that you don't have any leakage around them. anytime you have an opening you have an opportunity. And that opportunity is simply moisture. Moisture in your house is your enemy. We do a very thorough inspection and always check to make sure skylights are working properly we understand the importance of having the outdoor ambient light and we to enjoy it just as much as you but it requires a certain amount of maintenance.
Most importantly finding the right and reliable roofing contractor.
potentially identified a few places where you think you might have damage now it's time to get on Google and find a roofing contractor that's going to be able to help you with your problem. You might be tempted to repair the roof yourself I would honestly suggest to get the roofing estimate first typically these estimates are free and you can gain a lot of knowledge from an experienced river that knows what they're doing before you step on your roof and potentially do more damage. specifically in cases of tile roofing you can actually do a lot more damage if you try to do it yourself and you don't know what you're doing The same could be very true of asphalt roofs. aside from not having the right tools or the expensive tools that it takes to do a job you could be putting your life at risk and that's the last thing we want for our customers.
As an experienced roofer and an expert in our field we know that we can get the job done quicker, less expensive and more accurately saving you time material and most importantly peace of mind. We have the proper tools training and experience to climb up on your roof and assess the problem quickly and give you an accurate understanding of what's going on.
Here are some tips on what to look for when choosing a reliable contractor. Key factors like location is this contractor someone that's local? This is a very important thing to consider because often after large storms there are swarms of people that come into town that are not local and subcontract workout. Although they may know what they're doing I have heard so many horror stories and fixed so many roofs of people that were not local roofers and clients call us to fix a problem because they cannot find their roofer that they hired because they were not local. Also certifications and training should be a very important piece of what you're looking for as well as roofing guarantees. If you have roofers that are certified with a certain product that product could be guaranteed for much longer giving you much more peace of mind.
also local contractors know the local weather they know the local codes and they typically know the best way to install because of all the local experience that they have. sometimes techniques are very regional and understanding regional techniques for installation is a very important key point that most people don't take into consideration. For instance in the north what we call the bridge cap has to be face to certain direction because the prevailing winds come out of the northwest if installed incorrectly this ridge cap that's on top of your roof could typically blow off much easier if it doesn't have enough time to seal.
As I mentioned earlier certifications are important for one major reason typically there are certain products that are required for roofers to go through installation training. This installation training for certain products ensures good quality roof installation and protects you with a full guarantee. Once these contractors have been certified as a guaranteed installer any issues in the future will be mitigated by not only the roofer but also the product has guarantees for the installers because they've been through the installation process and have been certified correctly on how to install that specific product.
What is the roof repair process? The first part of the process is obviously inspecting the roof for damage and leaks. If you've taken out your binoculars you probably already identified some areas that you would like to point out to the roofer because this would be beneficial in the initial analysis.
Now that you found a good company like us to come out it's time for the process to begin and for the inspection that happens right on the spot. sometimes you see a damaged shingle or a damaged tile but what's important to remember is that water always rolls downhill and that it always seeks the lowest point. The obvious damage may not be the most damage. So it's important for us to give a thorough inspection and check both sides of the roof you may believe you only have a problem on one side whereas the leak source could be coming from a different area.
For instance if we find damage on what I mentioned was the flashing or the valley of the roof this is typically replaced with new flashing areas that are worn would be sealed with a high-quality sealant or cocked or tard vent boots around the pipes would then have to be taken off and replaced accordingly. Of course missing and broken shingles would be replaced with new ones as well. In some cases finding the right shingle color can be a challenge so it is important that we note and find a matching shingle color. also if it is an older roof sometimes the color has faded so these are things to take into consideration as well.
If the damage is gone on for quite some time there could be issues with what we call decking that is the OSB board underneath that supports the shingle weight That's the 4x8 pieces of wood that you see us put on top of your roof.. If this has been compromised it could be very dangerous to walk on and this is another reason we suggest doing a roof inspection with a license and bonded roofer. The last thing you want to do is climb under roof and fall through your roof. We know where this damage is we know how to look for it and prevent further damage.
A few other things to keep in mind while hiring a roofer is you should always ask for recommendations.
Facebook's a great way to reach out and ask for recommendations. A simple post on your Facebook page like asking does anybody know a good roofer in the area? This can save you a lot of time and a lot of hassle. people are all too often ready to share a great experience if they have a great profer that they've worked with in the past.
Also asking for great references is a simple way to prevent any problems in the future. Past performance is a key indicator to future success we all know this.
Ask friends at work if they know a good roofer or if you notice a lot of roofing companies coming into your neighborhood step across the street and get to know your neighbor ask them if they've had a free roof inspection most of them are offered for free The only exception to that might be a large commercial roof because these do happen to take a lot longer to do so some companies do charge for large commercial roof inspections. However typically a small residential roof inspection is usually offered free.
Things like the better business bureau can be great but it's not the end all be all. Some small business owners choose not to be a part of the business bureau because it is a paid subscription and some of the best roofing companies that I know and work with actually don't pay for the reference for the better business bureau.
Google reviews has been one of the latest and greatest ways to find out more and more information about the services that you're looking for. this is one way that I personally use to make a lot of choices when it comes to services and I would suggest you to do the same. Often Google reviews are a decent representation of the type of work that they've done in the past and again past performance is a key indicator for future success.
Simple things like asking for licensing and proof of insurance can save you a lot of time and a lot of problems. Fly by night companies typically don't carry the proper license or certifications especially proof of insurance. this is so important because if someone falls off your roof and doesn't have insurance the possibility is they could potentially sue you. The last thing you want is anyone to get hurt and the last last thing that you want is someone to get hurt on your property and risk your families safety security and financial security through a heavy lawsuit..
find out about the manufacturers that they use in the products that they use specifically this means roofers have requirements but they have to meet from factory certifications it's not something every roofer has but it's a good indication and it helps you get some peace of mind as well. This will help you understand the price that you're paying for the products that are going on your roof. One example of how a product price could change is very simple. If you're getting an asphalt shingle typically a roofer will only give you a 30-day guarantee on the price of that shingle. Why is that? specifically asphalt shingles are made of asphalt which is an oil-based product. Oil-based products are driven by the current price of oil driven by OPEC. Shingles typically don't sit around in warehouses for a very long time because there are freshness dates on them. by the time the cost of that shingle is made it could have been a cheaper shingle to make at the time so the raw product being oil if the price of oil goes up to replace that product that product could become more expensive it's very important to understand this if you're doing a large project it can certainly make a big difference in your price.
Requesting a written estimate is always the best choice.
Most roofers are happy to provide a estimate a red flag would be one that doesn't. But as I mentioned before don't be caught off guard if they say this is a guaranteed price for the next 30 days. It has more to do with the distributor that they purchase shingles from those prices of shingles do fluctuate depending on what's going on with the world and oil prices. getting the written estimate up front is going to assure you that you have a document that you could adhere to and also feel comfortable knowing what you're getting into before any of those changes take place. Always discuss with your contractor if there are any other changes that need to take place that you would like to know before anything else happens. An example of this would be the rougher might not believe you need new decking however after removing the shingles they discover the decking the OSB or the plywood is rotted. This would potentially change the cost of the installation and most reputable roofers will tell you as I see it right now this is the total price for the roof the change and price could come as we remove shingles if we notice there are unsafe or unstable places that need to be replaced I will make you aware of it and I will tell you exactly what needs to be done so we can agree on the correct course of action and the price difference.
It's important to think about more than just the cost of service
quotes can vary from person to person and refer to roofer. There are a lot of things to consider sometimes these differences can be quite significant but you need to understand what the significances are. Don't always be driven by the cheapest price but be driven by the quality of service that you're going to get and the quality of materials that you will receive. sometimes the cheaper price comes at the cost of less than perfect quality materials or less than experienced installers.
One question that I always tell my customers is be very leery of refers that want you to pay everything up front typically the work that we do we ask for half of the money up front and then half at the end of the well performed project. sometimes there are advantages with pain with the credit card or even with a check but only pay the other half after the job has been completely finished. If it's an insurance job typically your insurance company will insist that a check from the insurance company has to be paid directly to the contractor and then only after the project is completed the insurance company will release the other half of the check after your inspection. In some cases insurance companies will send out a individual to inspect the job and then the final check will be released to the roofing contractor. This is an industry standard in many cases not all the time but it is something that is very common.
In conclusion always get a guarantee. getting a guarantee and choosing the right roofing service is going to assure that you have a long-lasting roof that you're happy with that protects your families belongings within. Having a conversation with more than one roofer to be able to discriminate on the type of service that you might be able to receive is the best way to know what your options are. Roofing crews that have been properly trained to install certain types of shingles and tiles have the support of the manufacturer to help pay for any problems that might occur in regards to installation. For me when anything I'm looking for peace of mind I don't want to have to go back and redo it I don't want to have to think about it ever again. well in some cases you do have to think about it here in San Antonio Texas we do have a lot of weather so you may have to think about it again at some point in the future but at least you'll be well versed as to what your options are.
Having a roof repair or having a roof replacement is not always on the top of your mind or one of the most fun things that you'll ever do. However it is one of the most expensive things that you will ever do when it comes to your home. think about it when you buy a car you spend a lot of time discriminating choosing and talking to people about what a good choice is. Typically a roof can cost just as much as a car so due diligence is the best thing you should take into consideration while choosing a good roofing contractor..