Are you a building owner in California, wondering about installing a new roof?
You might be thinking about repairing your existing roof instead, but have you considered that a new roof might be better in the long run?
A quality installation is the most important factor for the longevity of your roof, yet 70% of construction litigation is centered on water intrusion, often through leaky roofs. How do you know if you’re getting a roof that will effectively protect your building from future weather?
We’re going to run over the key factors to consider and why they’re important, so you can make an informed choice. Read on!
Pick the Right Contractor
A quality roofing contractor won’t be hesitant to show you their local/state contractor’s license.
To verify that they are a professional roof contractor, you can do an online search to verify their contractor license. They should also be able to prove that they are bonded and have general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
Price is likely to be commensurate with the quality of the work, so don’t use this as the sole decider. A badly designed and installed roof will have a disastrous financial impact down the line.
If a contractor offers to save you money by cutting corners, think twice. Remember that you are replacing the first line of defense against the contents of your building.
The roof’s size, design complexity, and chosen materials will all impact the time and labor cost. The size of the roofing team will also dictate how long the project will last. It could be anywhere from a day to weeks, so find out these details in advance.
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, since many roof replacements have unique circumstances. If the contractor seems untrustworthy, or unable to explain things clearly, then you should probably go with your gut. You shouldn’t feel pressured into anything you are uncomfortable with.
Repair or Replace?
A new roof from scratch is the best option, which means replacing everything except the roof decking.
Once the roof is fully stripped, the decking planks/boards should be inspected. This is to ensure they are still effectively nailed onto the rafters. This is important because, during the removal of the prior roof, the pre-existing decking fasteners may have loosened.
If the building has rotted or soft decking, then this should be replaced or repaired too. If it’s not in good condition, then it might not provide a good surface for nailing the new roof in place, leading to problems down the line.
If the decking needs to be completely replaced, clearly it’s going to add some time and cost to the project and there’s no way to know until the old roof is torn off. Likewise, a change in weather conditions might delay work.
If the contractor suggests laying new shingles over the existing ones, check that the building codes in your area permit this.
While the roof is off, consider replacing skylights, because it will be less expensive to do it at the same time. Also, think about replacing any other structural elements that connect to the roof, for the same reason, if they are showing signs of age.
Check that your roofing contractor has a manufacturer certification. This is important because a new roof often uses a complete kit from a single manufacturer.
Kits like this are well designed and tested, including not only shingles but leak barriers and underlayment, etc.
These items protect vulnerable areas of the roof and provide a second layer of protection from shingles that have failed. Because these roof systems are designed with all elements working together, you’ll want a manufacturer certified roof contractor installing it correctly and registering the warranty.
A quality installation is guaranteed if the contractor follows the manufacturer’s exact instructions and the warranty reflects this. This includes following the specified nail pattern when fixing the shingles to the decking and using the exact layout spacing (offsets). Small deviations are all it takes for the roof to be vulnerable to water.
Ask the roofing contractor if they offer an upgraded manufacturer warranty. A warranty on the workmanship of the installation itself will be of great benefit. These can cover the roof for 10-25 years and cost more, but it’s more likely for a roof to fail because of the installation than a defect with the shingles.
If any part of the manufacturer’s roofing system is incorrectly installed, then the manufacturer’s warranty might be voided.
The roofing industry knows that replacing a roof can be a messy business. Potential damage can occur to the building itself, landscaping, or even a neighbor’s property. The removal of shingles can be particularly damaging if precautions are not taken.
You’ll want to ensure that the contractors protect vulnerable areas with effective barriers. The building exterior is particularly vulnerable, so make sure that they use a tarp.
Even if they aren’t replacing the decking planks/boards, debris can slip through gaps. Protect the contents of the attic well, so it’s easier to clean up later.
The roofing contractor should be using a rolling magnet to pick up excess nails that have made their way off the roof. They must do this on the driveway, pavement, and sidewalk. If the neighbor’s property is close, it should be checked for nails and debris also.
Get a Quality Installation
We’ve shown that a proper roof installation is a worthy investment, and you shouldn’t cut corners when original materials need replacing. Don’t let your building down by leaving it unguarded against the elements.
If you’re looking for a new roof in Fresno, Modesto, or Sacramento, we can help you. We are a roofing contractor who offers an energy-efficient quality installation using cutting edge technology.
Contact us today for a free estimate.