Posts made in October 2018

Chat with A Contractor: Choosing the Right Roofer

Choosing a Roofer for the Right ReasonsRoof Shingle Care

Choosing the Right Roofer is like choosing any other specialist, like the right dentist or doctor for your family, at least it should be. Would you take your children to a dentist that worked out of his basement? Would you recommend a doctor that worked out of his car? Okay, maybe it’s a little extreme to compare roofing to a medical practice, but it does get you thinking doesn’t it?

Let’s face it; our homes are our most valued personal possession. We work long and hard to afford them. The last thing any of us need is a bad roof installation, with roofing that either needs repaired or replaced again in a few years. Although I am a contractor, like you I am also a consumer. I battle the same question and answer game as all of you when hiring people to help me.

Everyone asks the same basic questions that have been asked for the last 50 years:

  • How long have you been in business and doing this?
  • Are you insured?
  • Do you have a license to perform this work?
  • How long will the job take?
  • Will you work straight through until the job is complete?

These are important questions and should be asked of any roofer you consider hiring. But there are other, more important questions that will let you know what type of roofer you are dealing with and what kind of roof you will get.

  1. How will this roof be installed?
    Answer: The answer should always be by manufacturers’ specifications. Installing roofing to the manufacturers’ specifications ensures that whatever is being installed will meet warranty & installation requirements giving you the upper hand in any warranty claims or installation failure disputes. Most important get that in writing in your contract.
  1. How will the ventilation of my attic space work and affect the roof performance?
    Answer: There will always be an intake at the gutter or roof end line and an outlet at the roof peak. This item is not open for negotiation. Without either item the warranty will be null and void, period!
  1. How will you handle the gutter end line where the roof edge meets the fascia board?
    Answer: We will install a roof to fascia apron or a roof to gutter apron at that end line. We have all dealt with ice dams and icicles over the past couple years in the Pittsburgh area. The leading cause of most ice dam leakage is that apron. Properly installing that apron will prevent the melting ice from backing into your living space like it tends to do here in Western PA. Unfortunately, we have no control over icicles.

Now you know what to ask to make an informed decision when it comes time to have your roof replaced. Choosing the right roofing contractor can make the difference between a quality roofing job and more follow up work after the installation. Remember, sometimes it’s what’s under the roof that you don’t see that’s most important.

Chat with a Contractor: Do You Need a New Roof?

Knowing and Understanding the Signs for a New Roof

Roofing InspectionOver the years, thousands of homeowners have asked my staff and me the same question, “How much life do I have left in my roof?” If I was able to get my crystal ball, I might be able to tell them all exactly how much time they have, but unfortunately it’s not that easy. In my opinion, there are 5 important things that determine shingle and roof life. They are as follows:

  • Weather and the Severity Of It
  • Composition Of the Roof Covering
  • The Installation Of the Roof Covering Product
  • Ventilation
  • Maintenance

Weather will always impact your roof area and there is not much you can do about it. Nature is nature. We would always recommend if you anticipate weather affecting your roof more than not, look into purchasing higher quality roofing shingles and accessories. Doing It Right is committed to providing you with the highest quality materials for your project. Ask us about roofing shingle and accessory options.

Your roof can be greatly impacted by the composition makeup of the roof product. Each manufacturer has their own way of producing their product. Some use less asphalt and more fiberglass. Some add different agents to their product — some do not. Natural coverings such as slate and tile will undoubtedly last longer, but also cost much more to purchase and have installed. It’s important to know what you might have in place and what you will get if you have a new roof installed. Ask us to explain the differences.

Original installation could be the difference between getting 2 or 10 extra years out of your existing roof. Technology and the way installations are viewed these days have changed over the past 20 years. Just because it worked then doesn’t mean it’s going to work the same way today. Warranties have changed and the demands to install a roof correctly have become that much more important. Doing It Right believes in continued education for our installers to ensure a proper install of your project. Ask us how a new roof should be put on correctly to meet the current warranty guidelines.

Through advanced research manufacturers have determined that air flow restrictions not only make the roof shingle perform inadequately, it also affected the life expectancy of the shingle. I remember 30 to 35 years ago when my old bosses used to say, “Make sure you seal that up good and pack the insulation in tightly at the gutter end lines and ceiling areas.” Little did I know at that time that I was causing a stir in the roofing industry and how it is looked at today. Ask us about your house air flow and how it affects your shingle life and performance.

There’s not much you can do to additionally maintain your roof like adding coatings or spray-on applications. We do not recommend any coatings even if it was something that is available. Make sure your gutters are flowing properly and cleaned regularly. Clear the roof surface from debris. A yearly maintenance plan with a qualified roofing contractor, not a handyman, would benefit you to identify problems before they cause major damage. Talk to us about the different types of maintenance plans available.

Chat with a Contractor: Roof Replacement Quotes

What to Expect From a Roof Replacement Quote

When you start the process of looking for a qualified roofing contractor to provide you with a roof replacement quote you should consider the following before making your final decision. Sure the obvious comes to mind (insured, cost, etc.), but here are some additional things that should be looked at and considered.

Please take a moment and review the list for your own benefit. Keep it for reference when making that final decision.

  • Is the company that I am getting the quote from a true roofing contractor or something other? “Roofing” in the company name would lead you in the right direction.
  • Are their installers roofing installers, not siding guys or carpenters? There’s a difference.
  • Does the contractor have an established address that he does business out of in case you need to find them?
  • Does the contractor have an e-mail address or an alternate phone number so you can contact him through a variety of different options to fit your needs?
  • Was the estimate you received detailed? Stating, “Remove shingles and install new ones,” doesn’t cut it. Get all the details involved in a new roof replacement. Get everything in writing.
  • Never, and I mean never give money down on a job. You are not helping the contractor you are hurting yourself. Those not capable of handling financial aspects of installations could ultimately cause you problems with your installation.
  • Never pay before a job is completed. Paying prior to completion is OK only if you have done something to delay the project yourself.
  • Always get some kind of labor warranty and I don’t mean a year or two. Quality contractors who do a project correctly give at least a 10-year warranty on labor.
  • Always get the installation done per manufacturer’s specifications. When you don’t, you shortchange yourself. Your contractor should do the job the way it’s intended to be done.
  • Last but not least, question your contractor, be involved, but let your contractor do his job. Have faith before you hire them. Do not let price dictate your decision completely. This normally leads to an installation with problems.

At Doing It Right we are committed to following industry best practices and providing you with complete and accurate information.