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

Knowing and Understanding the Signs for a New Roof

Over 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.

Chat with a Contractor: What Did He Find?

What Did the Contractor Find During My Roof Replacement Quote That Might Affect My New Roof Installation?

The last thing any of us would want is a service professional providing us with a quote and finding a bunch of issues or problems that we were not prepared to address or spend money on. However, allowing yourself to be convinced by those who are just looking to do the minimum and cover over issues which will cost you thousands later is insane.

Take it from me, we see this every day when we do our initial inspection for homeowners and provide them with a bid. Here are some tips that will help you make sound decisions and point you in the right direction when they are presented to you.

  1. Get explanations on problem areas that you know of or don’t know of. Missing shingle areas, existing leaks, etc. may be damaged beyond what is seen.
  2. If you are shopping for a new roof expect to have some issues pointed out. You must realize you may have a problem sooner than later. So what are they? Get answers.
  3. Sometimes it’s just not the roof. It could be the chimney, siding, gutters, etc. that’s actually causing the problem. Distinguish those problems so that the same problem does not exist once the new roof has been installed.
  4. Update to modern technology. If tin is found, you need to replace it with aluminum. Your installation should always include all new flashings. (Pipes, chimney, valleys, etc.)
  5. Unlike duct tape, caulking does not fix everything. Caulking is designed to make things look pretty and “aid” in the performance of the installation, not be the determining factor. Having caulking issues pointed out could be the difference between a new roof now and a new roof 5 years from now.

Knowing what the real problems are vs. letting someone tell you what you want to hear will be the difference in getting a project installed the correct way. The good roofing contractors will let you know what needs done to do the job the right way. The bad ones will try and convince that you just need what they want to do. In most cases that’s just pound shingles on your roof.

Chat with a Contractor: It’s Not Just The Shingles Part 2

Part 2: The Percentage of Roof Leaks Not Associated with the Shingles

Broken Shingles

In our last blog we touched on the premise that roof shingles rarely are the problem when roof leaks develop. Feeling that we did not provide a complete list, we wanted to finish our thoughts on that. Here are some other situations that should be looked at before you blame your roof leak on the shingles.

 

Gutters:
If not routinely cleaned and maintained, they can cause serious problems and allow water infiltration when you least expect it. Back up or overflow issues may penetrate through fascia boards or into window head areas. Having the proper apron system installed would alleviate a lot of these issues as well as a good cleaning each year.

Ridge Vents:
New ridge vent technology is pretty sound with shingle caps being installed over top of them. Old style ridge vents, because of design and age, cause more problems due to wear and tear than anything. Something a lot of roofing contractors do not take into consideration when installing ridge vent cap is the direction that the weather comes from. You should always install your cap shingles away from the weather so that the open end is opposite the driven weather.

Fascia and Siding Meeting Areas:
Back in the day, siding manufacturers’ accessories were not much bigger than your average ¾ inch fascia. Not many issues could be pointed to what I am about to tell you. Today’s sidings and accessories used to usually extend past the average fascia board, leaving a lip above the J channel and can allow water to infiltrate. In this case, bigger is not always better and can present a problem.

Items Not Related To Your Roof At All:

Do you have an AC unit located in your attic? Is there duct work or exhaust fan piping running across the attic floor? These are just a couple of things that we have run across over the years. AC units and condensation speak for themselves. Duct work or piping can also create a condensation pool that will leak out of the pipe, through the insulation and into your living area. You might want to consider a routine inspection or an overview of a qualified individual or company to get an honest and fair assessment of what might be at risk there.

Siding Maintenance By Material

House Siding

As a homeowner, home maintenance likely takes up a lot of your time, as housekeeping and yard trimming tend to be pretty time-consuming chores. Luckily, siding by nature is durable and doesn’t require that much upkeep. That being said, a little TLC here and there to preserve the longevity of your siding never hurts. Here are some ways to maintain your siding, in accordance with its material.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is strong enough to the point where it is meant to be left alone, but it is still good to check to make sure that the siding is tightly secured, as even a little bit of looseness can spell trouble for the integrity of the siding. It also helps to give your siding a good power wash either before or after summer, as insects and dirt tend to cling to it during the summer months. Keeping the surface clean will give your home that fresh, newly installed appearance that will make you feel like you just installed them.

Wood Siding

Wood is more sensitive to the elements, and therefore requires treatment every 4 to 6 years, depending on the rigorousness of the climate of your area. Again, a decent pressure wash can do wonders for your home, and will keep away any dirt and insects that would infect and degrade the siding.

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement is one of the strongest and low maintenance siding materials out there, especially the ones that we work with from James Hardie. That being said, low maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance, and there are still a couple things you can do to keep your siding in the best shape possible. One of them would be to inspect the caulking holding the siding in place around once a year. Check for any cracks and openings that would let moisture inside and risk warping and mold. And just like the previous ones, a solid pressure wash will only help even more.

Cellular PVC Trim

Last but not least we have PVC trim. Again very low maintenance and again will benefit from a pressure wash, a more unique factor is that PVC tends to be more sensitive to temperature, and will expand/contract in accordance to temperature changes. If not sealed correctly the sealant can crack as it fails to expand along with the trim, leaving gaps for insects and debris. Check to make sure that all of your surfaces are sealed tight.

Overall, siding is resistant and low maintenance, but when it comes to what is essentially shielding for your home, it’s never a bad idea to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape. If you are still unsure about the state of your siding, and/or have questions on maintenance, reach out to us over at Doing It Right to schedule an inspection. We have experienced contractors who are experts in siding, and will know exactly what will be the best course of action for you.

Chat with a Contractor: It’s Not Just The Shingles

Part 1: The Percentage of Roof Leaks Not Associated with the Shingles

Broken Shingles

I always tell everyone, “I could teach a monkey to install shingles on a roof.” I wish I had access to a monkey so that I could prove my point. The fact is, most roof leaks are not associated with the shingles themselves, but the protrusions and entities surrounding and within the roof area. These things should be checked out when a new roof is being installed. Diagnosing a problem before will save you grief later.

 

Chimneys:
Through the cap or through the facing, if in bad condition the chimney on your house will leak. I cannot even count the times that we were called out for service because of a leaking chimney area. More than not, it was the chimney itself and not the roof surface. You should have your chimney routinely checked by a qualified person to ensure that it is holding up to the elements.

Flashing:
Whether step flashing, counter flashing, valley flashing, pipe flashing or any other type of flashing, I can assure you at one point or another, if not installed properly, you will develop a leak. Backwater seams, overlap, nailing through flashing, or just not knowing what you are doing are just some of the interesting things we have seen over the years in regards to flashing leaks. Make sure your contractor installs all new flashing when a new roof is installed.

Skylights:
They can be tricky. Quality of the skylight and its existing condition are the true factors in what you should do with them when you replace your roof. Cost, of course, is the other factor to be considered. I can tell you this, 9 out of 10 service calls we look at in regards to the skylight area is skylight related and not shingle related. That pretty much speaks for itself. Be aware of skylight condition and accept the fact that they should be replaced with a new roof installation.

OTHER SURFACES:

Driven weather has always been a nemesis of roofing contractors. We have provided thousands of service calls for roof leaks to find out that the leak had generated from a side wall or through the siding panels. When having your roof replaced it is important that you speak to your contractor and get them to do a once over of the areas surrounding the roof to ensure additional issues do not exist. If they exist have them addressed as well.

What Siding Do You Need for Your Home?

James Hardie siding PittsburghDetermining what kind of siding your home needs is not an easy task. With the plethora of options on the market that are available to homeowners, it can be overwhelming to determine what color, texture, and material you need in your new siding. Luckily, we are the experts when it comes to siding in Pittsburgh at Doing It Right Roofing, Siding, and Remodeling LLC, and can help you find exactly what you need for the exterior of your home. Here are some things to consider when trying to decide on a siding material to remodel your home with:

What is your budget? – One of the first things you need to consider when looking for new siding is what your budget allows you to purchase. If your overall budget is on the lower end, you may be limited to the type of siding you can choose from when working with your contractor. Certain materials require larger budgets, but it does not necessarily reflect the durability of the siding itself.

How long will you be in your house? – Whether you are looking to sell your house in the next few years or you and your family are in your “forever” home, you need to consider how long your stay will be in your current home when choosing siding. Specific types of siding can raise the value of your home if you are ready to put it on the market. Additionally, you need to think about the material of your siding if you plan to stay in your home for many years to come.

Are you still trying to find James Hardie siding in Pittsburgh that fits within your budget? Give the professionals at Doing It Right Roofing, Siding, and Remodeling LLC a call today at (724) 351-0499.

Is Your Roof Ready for the Rain?

While we never really see a season in Pittsburgh that does not involve rain, the wetter months of late summer and early fall are right roof repair Pittsburgharound the corner. Every homeowner thinks that they have their roofing system adequately patched, waterproofed, and ready for rain, but there are signs that you can see before a heavy downpour that say otherwise. Here are some ways that you can check to see if your roofing system is prepared for heavy rains and what to do if it is not ready to handle it.

Check your gutters – One of the most important things that you can do to prevent your roofing from leaking or being compromised during heavy rainfall is to maintain your gutters. Unfortunately, the task of cleaning out your gutters or repairing them if they are not working correctly can be smelly, messy, and frustrating to do. However, properly maintained gutters are going to be your best armor from the persistent rain storms that the end of summer and early fall bring to Pittsburgh, so get a head-start on checking them while it is still dry outside.

Patch those flappy shingles – Are there a few shingles on your roof that could use some TLC before a torrential downpour? Patch them up while the weather outside is still cooperating with you. Even though you may think that one or two loose shingles might not affect your roofing system, you are wrong because they can heavily damage what is underneath. Consider having a partial or comprehensive roof inspection on those areas where your shingles are flying free to prevent any leaks during hurricane season.

Are you in need of roof repair in Pittsburgh? We can help at Doing It Right Roofing, Siding, and Remodeling LLC today at (724) 351-0499.

Chat with a Contractor: Choices and Documentation

Let’s Focus on the Finer Details: Choices and Documentation

Filing Papers

 

At Doing It Right Roofing Siding Remodeling I reinforce into every facet of our business the same thing every day — details, details, details. Last blog I touched on some of those details to help homeowners weed through the contractors to make the right choice. This blog will continue that trend to assist the homeowners with the out of the ordinary items.

 

The Company You Choose to Perform the Work

We are all always looking for the best price to obtain the things we need. Unfortunately sometimes we overlook what that cost actually will reflect and put the blinders on basing our decision solely on cost alone. We should also consider the following:

  • It’s important to compare apples to apples, not oranges.Is all of the information I need to ensure a proper roof installation in my bid? In the age of computers, finding what you should have and not when a roof is to be installed is right at your fingertips. Deferring to the manufacturer and their website will eliminate any second guessing.
  • Can I be sure that the contractor that performed the installation will be there when I need them in case a problem does occur? Getting a warranty of more than a year or twomakes more sense and protects you in the long run.
  • When paying a deposit read between the lines.Most companies who do short-term projects such as roof installation should be able to incur the cost of the labor and material for over a few-day period. This term will separate the stronger companies from the weaker ones. You should be sure that nothing will ever get in your way when the installation of your roof is going on. Financial issues should scare you off.

Was All Documentation Available and True?

  • Without being registered in the State of Pennsylvania database with the Attorney General’s officea contractor installing roofs is not permitted to do such installations. Furthermore, if their registration number is not on their documentation they are hiding something.
  • If your contract proposal is no more than one or two pages long, then question the lack of information. There is so much to specify in a roof installation other than “ tear off the old shingles & replace them with new ones “. It amazes me how many people sign those kinds of contracts and then complain how they got taken. Be sure you have everything spelled out in length.

Insurance certificates should be presented to you for review. Although insurance varies and coverages can be misleading always get your name as an additional insured for your protection. No one should have a problem with this. If they do then something is being hidden.

Depend on us for honest and reliable roofing, siding, and remodeling advice. We proudly serve the Greater Pittsburgh area. Contact us and schedule a free consultation.

Why Your Home Could Benefit from PVC Trim

PVC trim in PittsburghMany times when remodeling the exterior of your home, you are looking for simple, clean, and effective ways to update its curb appeal without a complete overhaul. While all exterior renovation projects can be time-consuming and pricey, there is one thing you can do to make your home stand out from the rest of the houses on the block without breaking your budget. By adding PVC trim to your deck, roofing, and other areas outside your home, you are giving it a facelift without having to redo your house’s exterior completely. Here are some benefits to incorporating PVC trim to the outer aesthetic of your house:

It is water resistant – One of the first things people usually ask about PVC trim is if it will hold up in the wet weather. Since it is made from the same material used to construct the plumbing in your home, the trim is not affected by moisture whatsoever.

It comes in many colors, shapes, and textures – Like many of the exterior home remodeling options we offer, PVC trim also comes in just about any width, shape, color, and texture you can dream up. Since it is so versatile, many home remodelers like to custom order it in a color or shape that will make the siding, deck, and other exterior elements of a home stand out among the rest.

Adding PVC trim in Pittsburgh to your home is just a call away with our team at Doing It Right Roofing, Siding, and Remodeling LLC. For more information about how adding PVC trim to a home can boost its’ curb appeal or just information about our trim options, materials, colors, and more, give us a call at (724) 351-0499 today.