Q: How can a home owner recognize when a roof system has problems?

A: All too often, roof system problems are discovered after leaking or other serious damage occurs. Periodic (twice-a-year) inspections often can uncover cracked, warped or missing shingles; loose seams and deteriorated flashings; excessive surface granules accumulating in the gutters or downspouts; and other visible signs of roof system problems. Indoors, look for cracked paint, discolored plasterboard and peeling wallpaper as signs of damaged roof areas.


Q: What are my options if I decide to reroof?

A: You have two basic options: You can choose a complete replacement of the roof system, involving a tear-off of your existing roof system, or re-cover the existing roof system, involving only the installation of a new roof system. If you’ve already had one re-cover installed on your original roof system, check with a professional roofing contractor. In many instances, building code requirements allow no more than one roof system re-cover before a complete replacement is necessary.


Q. Why a contractor needs access to your attic or crawl space during the estimate?

A. Contractors need to access the attic during the estimate so they can accurately give you an estimate. First we check the wood decking from the underneath side to ensure there is no mold or algae growth in the attic. Secondly, we  determine if the home ventilation system is working properly or if it needs to be corrected during the job process. Common issues include obstructions by insulation, uncut soffits, architectural protrusions that compromise airflow.


Q: My roof is leaking – Do I need to have it replaced completely?

A: Not necessarily. Leaks can result from flashings that have come loose or a section of the roof system being damaged. A complete roof system failure, however, generally is irreversible and a result of improper installation or choice of materials or the roof system installation is inappropriate for the home or building.


Q. How do you know if the roof’s existing wood deck is still good?

A. The only true way to know is to tear off the existing roof and inspect the deck. This is the main reason why it is not recommended to add a second layer of shingles on top of the old one. Reputable contractors will specify the cost to replace bad wood in the contract; should any be discovered during the job process.


Quality contractors will also document and let homeowners know of deck problems as soon as they are discovered, not at the end of the job.


Q. Will ridge vent alone provide adequate ventilation for my home?

A. No. According to manufacturer specifications and most city building codes, effective ventilation must include both intake (soffit vent) and exhaust (ridge vent) air movement. DunRite will be happy to advise you of the proper air flow necessary for your home. Improper ventilation may void manufacturer warranties to your new roof.


Q: How long can I expect my roof system to last?

A: Most new roof systems are designed to provide useful service for about 20 years. Some roof system types, such as slate, clay tile and certain metal (e.g., copper) systems, can last longer. Actual roof system life span is determined by a number of factors, including local climatic and environmental conditions, proper building and roof system design, material quality and suitability, proper application and adequate roof maintenance.


Roofing product manufacturers offer a variety of warranties on their products. Take a close look at those warranties to see what responsibilities and financial obligations manufacturers will assume if their products fail to reach their expected lives.


Q. What are the benefits to upgrading beyond basic shingles?

A. Upgraded styles enhance the look of your home and make it stand out as unique in your neighborhood. Upgrading your shingle can also add value to your home because of the longer warranty life. In some areas, upgraded shingles are required to handle specific environmental conditions such as living in extremely wet or hot climates, or living in an area where the roof is often exposed to high winds.


Q. Why are there price differences between contractors?

A. Here are some reasons for price differences: the experience of the workers, insurance rates, Worker’s Compensation rates, fuel prices, the types and brands of materials used, and the warranty coverage provided. As with many products and services, homeowners find they usually get what they pay for. The lowest price is not always the best price and will usually cost the homeowner more in the long run due to lower quality materials and installers lacking the experience to do a quality job.


Q. Will ice guard prevent ice backup and where should it be installed?

A. The proper term for ice guard is “waterproofing shingle underlayment.” It needs to be accompanied by proper home ventilation to ensure the elimination of ice backup problems. By itself, it is usually not enough to prevent ice backup. In fact, ice guard which is incorrectly installed can make the problem worse. For complete protection, manufacturers recommend installing ice guard along the rake edges and any roof penetrations such as skylights, pipes, and chimneys. In some cases ice guard may need to be installed onto the side walls as well. At a minimum, it should be installed along the bottom of the roof up to 24″ inside of the home’s heated walls. It also needs to be installed underneath any valleys in the roof.


Q: What will a new roof system cost?

A: The price of a new roof system varies widely, depending on such things as the materials selected, contractor doing the work, home or building, location of the home or building, local labor rates and time of year. To get a good idea of price for your roof system, get three or four proposals from reputable contractors in your area. Keep in mind that price is only one factor, and it must be balanced with the quality of the materials and workmanship. With our ever changing economy, it is also good to lock in your pricing for your roof as materials cost can increase at any time.


For each roofing material, there are different grades, corresponding prices and varieties of styles and shapes. You need to look at the full product range and make a choice based on your budget and needs.


Within the roofing profession, there are different levels of expertise and craftsmanship. DunRite is a contractor committed to quality work at the best possible price.


Q: Can I do the work myself?

A: Most work should not be done yourself. Professional roofing contractors are trained to safely and efficiently repair or replace roof systems. You can damage your roof system by using improper roofing techniques and severely injure yourself by falling off or through the roof.


Maintenance performed by home and building owners should be confined to inspecting roof systems during the fall and spring to check for cracked or curling shingles and cleaning gutters filled with dead leaves and other debris. If you must inspect your roof system yourself, use a firmly braced or tied-off ladder equipped with rubber safety feet. Wear rubber-soled shoes and stay on the ladder (and off the roof system), if possible.

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