6 Important Questions to Ask a Prospective Roofing Contractor

When you’re looking at installing a new roof, or even repairing an existing one, you should absolutely hire a professional roofing contractor for the job. You may be worried about getting ripped off, getting a crummy job, being left in a lurch by a contractor no-showing, or even being sued. Here are a few questions you should ask to ensure they know their stuff, as well as the answers you should look for before signing them on.

Are you certified?

You should only ever hire a certified contractor. Anyone can walk in off the street and offer to fix some loose shingles, but you want to know they’re qualified, and have the paperwork to prove it. You can absolutely request to see a copy of their certification before agreeing to anything.

How long have you been in business?

While new businesses don’t necessarily mean inexperience, you want to ensure the person knows their stuff, and has seen it all. The longer they’ve been active in the industry, the more scenarios they’ve dealt with, and the better equipped they will be to troubleshoot weird or last-minute issues for you. An experienced roofer will have 10 years or more, or at least be working within a company that’s 10 years in business.

Are you covered by worker’s compensation?

The reason you want to confirm this is because a roofer may become injured in a fall or accident while working on your property. In these situations, if they have no income protection, they sometimes try to sue the homeowner because the injury took place on the clock. A roofer covered by a worker’s compensation plan is a much safer bet.

Is your labor under warranty?

Almost every single roofing company guarantees their labor, in addition to the manufacturers’ warranties on the materials they use. First of all, they should absolutely know the answer to this question. You may want to check their website or do some digging to confirm that they are in fact guaranteed for the work they do. Not only can they mess up the job, they can even cause damage to your home.

Are you bonded?

The answer should absolutely be ‘yes’. Some of the biggest concerns with hiring a contractor are whether they’ll show up, if they acquired the proper permits, and if they pay their workers. Bonding is a form of insurance that holds them liable for these issues, and not you.

Do you have references or can I see a previous job of yours?

Like any service, roofers should be able to provide references of people or business they’ve worked with successfully. Don’t be shy in asking for a list of references, or even for examples of properties they’ve worked on before. Ensuring that someone else had a positive experience with the roofer can give you peace of mind.

Realistically, there are so many more questions you could, and should ask. The info you want to confirm will vary based on the job of job, the depth of work required, your location, etc. As far as important basics, the 6 questions above will give you a solid base for judging the professional roofing contractor before you, and how you’re protected when working with them.

How to Identify Hail Damage on the Roof

Did you know that within a hailstorm more than just your cars are possibly susceptible to damage, as well as future repairs? As hail makes impact, it might damage your roof or home covering, and additional personal property. Even though hailstorms may become destructive, the quantity of damage may greatly vary. The following are a few factors which affect the degree and type of damage which might be affected by a hail storm, and a guide about how you can identify damage to various kinds of roofing materials and shingles.

Wind – Within a hail storm, wind speed and wind direction may vary. Wind condition changes may affect the severity and location of impacts.

Density and size – The hailstones’ size may affect the level of damage to your home. A hailstone may be as big as a softball or as tiny as a pea. Many hailstones don’t have smooth corners, which may impact the kind of damage they’ll cause.

Materials of a building – Such materials absorb the impact of hail differently. For instance, hail may produce dings in siding, asphalt shingles, or gutters, whereby it might crack wood shakes or vinyl siding. On the other hand, softball-sized stones may be strong and dense enough to puncture the roof. Also, the condition and age of the roof might affect the level of damage.

Barriers – The stance of nearby structures, as well as natural barriers, such as landscaping, tree cover, fences or any adjacent houses may decrease the capability of hail causing damage.

 What Hail Damage Does to the Roof

Shingles may respond differently while struck by stones. Hail damage to composition shingles and asphalt may look different than damage to wooden shingles. It’s vital to know the various effects of the hail damage to correctly identify if there is roof damage caused by hail.

 Composition Shingles and Asphalt Damage

  • Hail hits which are soft to the touch, such as the bruise upon an apple
  • Mat and/or asphalt which looks shiny
  • Loss of granules that might expose the roof’s felt
  • Hail hits which are black
  • Random damage without any discernable pattern

Wooden Shingles Damage

  • Impact dents or marks alongside the splits
  • A split inside the shingle with little to no deterioration at the corners
  • A split inside the shingle with sharp edges and corners
  • A split inside the shingle that’s orange/brown
  • Random damage without any discernable pattern

There are several other kinds of damage to roof shingles which may be mistaken for hailstorm damage. For instance, sunlight and inclement weather exposure makes roof shingles brittle and leaves them with an aged look. This kind of damage is regular wear and tear of roof shingles, which sometimes is misidentified as hailstorm damage. Additional kinds of regular wear and tear might include cracking, blistering, flaking, granule loss, and algae. Mechanical imperfections and manufacturing defects in shingles also can be mistaken for hailstorm damage.

For more information on our roofing repair company please feel free to get in touch with Roofco right away!

Are Ice Dams Covered by Insurance?

Your insurance provider typically isn’t under obligation to cover ice dam extraction expenses for you.  You will find out about it if you speak to your insurance company and/or read their “What We Cover” part of the insurance policy.

However, the great news is insurance providers occasionally will cover all or part of the dam removal, typically as an action of “good faith.”

Figuring out your coverage sometimes can feel as if you are attempting to discover Coke’s recipe: All it’s possible to do is guess.  No two providers are precisely the same in their decision-making and policies.  No two dams are exactly the same: a few of them produce massive destruction to your house, whereby other ones pose very little threat.

Thereby, it is pretty much impossible to figure out if or for how much you will be covered.

Even though you cannot predict coverage, it’s possible to maximize your opportunities of having at least a part of the ice dam removal expenses covered – if you understand how companies view and deal with dam claims.

Why aren’t dam removal expenses usually taken care of by insurance?

Ice dams aren’t considered a “covered peril” on the majority of traditional policies.

They’re like mighty oak trees that hang over your property’s roof.  If a tree falls on the roof, your provider will probably pay for any house repairs.  The insurance provider might also pay to remove the part of the tree which fell upon your home.

But they aren’t going to arrive and remove that tree just as a preventative step.  Why not?  Because there is a good opportunity that the tree won’t fall, and even if it falls it might not do so on your property.  It’d be a slippery slope for your insurance provider: they cannot pay for the extraction of all of the trees homeowners feel are a bit too close to their house.  Insurance providers aren’t in the “tree trimming” business just like they aren’t within the “ice dam removal” business.  A specific duty falls on a homeowner to do their part in protecting their house.  You have a duty as a homeowner to maintain and protect your house.

It is exactly the same with an ice dam.  Your insurance company will probably cover the destruction that is done to your house caused by the leaking roof, and they might also pay to extract the part of the dam that is directly causing that leaking.  However, usually the ice dam removal itself is thought to be the homeowner’s job.  Every once and a while a provider might even remove the whole dam (and occasionally the snow) from the roof.  (It’s like them paying for the destruction to your house caused by a fallen tree, paying for the extraction of the whole tree from your home, and paying for all the tree stump and debris to be removed.)

For more information on our reliable ice dam removal company please feel free to get in touch with Roofco right away!

Eavestrough repair, when should I do it?

Most of us don’t think much about our eavestroughs, except that we should probably clean them one of these days. But the truth is that even with it’s not raining, our gutters are doing their job. They ferry water when it rains or snows, but otherwise they collect debris: things like dirt, leaves, twigs, rocks, and pretty much anything that critters drop into them.  When gutters clog, there’s the obvious concern that water will leak over onto the roof, and damage other components rather than draining properly. But any alien materials that remain in your gutters can damage the eavestroughs themselves. The seams can come loose or corrode, gaskets can cease to function and need replacement. So you may be asking yourself now: when do I need to repair my eavestroughs?

It’s important to know the basics, like the type of gutters your house has. Not only do the materials behave differently and need different kinds of repairs, the average lifespan of different types varies. There are a few telltale signs that you need to call in a professional. Especially when you’re a homeowner living in a fluctuating climate, or in generally unfavorable weather, a Winnipeg roofing company should be consulted rather than trying your hand at DIY.

Vinyl gutters made of PVC, and are less likely to dent or corrode. They are becoming an increasingly popular choice, because they’re a low-cost, lightweight option and are easy to install. If your eavestroughs are vinyl, they have a much shorter life span than is often advertised. The typical lifespan is reported around 20 years, but that’s a hopeful estimate, and the reality is closer to 10. Vinyl does not handle fluctuation in temperature, especially extreme cold. If you live in a region where extreme freezing is the norm, your gutters become brittle every time. They’re more likely to crack and break, so be on the lookout for chipping and leaks from the gutters themselves, rather than just spillover.

Seamless aluminum or galvanized steel gutters can hold more water, so they’re more reliable in heavy rain or snow, and they’re less likely to sag or spill. While aluminum is lightweight and will not rust, galvanized steel is heavier and may corrode more easily. They have an average lifespan of 20 years or more, and require minimal upkeep. It’s still a good idea to have them inspected every so often, because catching corrosion early can mean a simple repair rather than a costly replacement.

Copper gutters are considered the gold standard of household eavestroughs. If you shelled out a pretty penny to install copper gutters, then you don’t need to worry about rust. Chances are you rarely even need to clean them out, as they funnel debris much more smoothly. They have a glowing lifespan averaging from 50 to 60 years, or more with regular maintenance.

Hopefully you now have a clearer understanding of what your gutters are really made of, and what to be on the lookout for. Whether you can identify specific damage or just suspect a malfunction, it’s always best to trust a professional to take a closer look.

Would you buy a house that needs a new roof?

Buying a house can be a daunting enough task, even without adding renovations to your to-do list. You’re exhausted, head swimming with dollar signs, and looking for your dream home. Why would you take the risk of a fixer upper when you could shell out a bit more for the total package? Conventional wisdom might be on your side, but if you find the house of your dreams and are faced with the decision, here are a few reasons you may want to consider.

The seller may be willing to include the roof replacement cost in the sale price. Rather than put in the time and effort of replacing the roof prior to sale, the seller may opt to include the price of a new roof in the sale price instead. If the seller is using a real estate agent, one of the advantages is that they often have connections to other home professionals and can negotiate or arrange for repairs at a lower cost without sacrificing quality. It may be preferable, however, to suggest a roofing company of your own choosing for their consideration.

You get to choose who installs your new roof, and how. Because most roofing materials can last an average of anywhere from 10 to 30 years, many roofers don’t consider their customers for repeat business.  You can’t be sure of who installed the existing roof, or of what corners they may have cut in doing so.  Choose an experienced roofing company with certified trained workers, and workmanship and installation warranties. This means they not only conform to the manufacturer warranty specifications but guarantee the quality and longevity of their work itself.

Installing a new roof means you control the materials and quality. In the freezing, humid climate of Winnipeg, many roofing materials may not be appropriate to keep your home properly insulated. From wind and rain, to snow and ice, winter months take a heavy toll on otherwise reliable roofing materials. Not only the cold months, but the extreme fluctuation from -40C to 40C in a year is an additional stressor to consider. For example, while asphalt is affordable and widely used, it provides little in the way of insulation and can be rendered brittle in cold weather, making it easier for wind and hail to damage. If you’re willing to invest a bit more initially, there are environmentally friendly alternatives, such as solar panels. These can be a cost-saver in the long-run, not only because of their durability, but also in keeping your home warm, dry, and insulated.

Even if you’re buying a brand-new home with all the bells and whistles, consider having someone walk through to give you an estimate on repairs or replacement. In the end, no house is perfect. You may be months into home ownership before noticing a leak or draft. It’s important to have the house inspected prior to purchase, but it may be equally beneficial to gather free estimates from experienced professionals. This will also give you an idea of what future upkeep could cost you. After all, we’re talking about the roof over your head!

Do you know what your roof components are?

So maybe you’re renting a house, or maybe you’re a new homeowner: you’re an expert in everything from lawnmowing to throw pillows. But do you know anything about the roof over your head? Beyond the shingles and gutters, can you identify, or even name the components of a roof? Let’s walk through the basic parts and sections that make up the average roof. Obviously, the shape and materials can vary, but knowing the general layout and terminology can come in handy if you need to fix or even call in a professional to fix your roof. If you’re dealing with winter conditions, consider Winnipeg roof snow removal.

Decking, or sheathing, is usually made of plywood that closes and reinforces the roof structure and serves as a nailbed for the shingles.

Underlayment, or underlay membrane is a coating that protects the decking from bad weather, and separates the shingles or tiles from the decking, which prevents seeping of any resin.  It can be made of asphalt saturated felt, or synthetic fabric.

Gutters are a channel that collects and carries rainwater. Depending where the gutter is, it can also be called the eaves gutter, or eavestrough as we most commonly say, but there are also valley and parapet gutters.

Eaves membrane is a protective layer, typically of bitumen and polyester, that is applied under shingles to prevents water from seeping. It’s usually resistant to weather fluctuation, and resists freezing, so it’s an essential for any Winnipeg home.

Edge is the bordering end of the roof or eaves. It’s also known as a fascia.

Drip edge is a moulding, typically aluminum, that covers the edges of the roof. It helps to prevent water from seeping through by ensuring water runoff drains into the eaves, not behind them.

Ridge is the horizontal line at the top where all sides of the roof meet.

Valley is the vertical line, or V-shaped angle where two slopes of the roof meet.

Roof vents, typically metal or plastic, are openings that ventilate the attic.

Flashing, or joint covers, is moulding that waterproofs openings in the roof. Usually made of steel, aluminum, or plastic, flashing can be rigid or flexible. It’s used in the valleys, and around vents or chimneys.

Shingles are the actual tiles used to cover a roof. They can be made of a variety of materials, ranging from basic asphalt to wood, metal, or slate. The type of shingle used is very important, especially in extreme weather areas where ice and snow are guaranteed.

So now you have a basic understanding of what makes up a roof! Obviously, there are tons of other parts and processes involved in roofing. Every roof can be different, and the shape and age of a house may mean that some have sections that others just don’t. It’s important to consult an expert before poking around with your roof, especially when bad weather can make it an urgent project. But hopefully, with a bit of basic know-how, you can now follow along with the professionals suggest, and keep up to date on what they’re doing to fix the problem.

4 Important Facts About Your Roofing Underlayment.

Roofing underlayment, which provides a moisture barrier for your home, may be something you’ve never heard of before, but if you’re looking to build a new roof, you need to know the facts.

  1. There are three different types of roofing underlayment. First is Asphalt-saturated felt, also known as felt or tar paper. Water-resistant, this method is reliable but out-dated by about 15 years. The more modern water-resistant type is “Non-bitumen synthetic underlayment”, or simply synthetic underlayment. Most notably it includes fiberglass to improve resistance to tearing. While synthetic is the most commonly used nowadays, you’ve got the third option of rubberized asphalt underlay. A little more heavy duty, this one is often used in more specific use-case scenarios where more extreme weather is common. It is more expensive than other options due to the more expensive materials in it.
  2. Water-proofing and water-resistance. For less extreme weather, water-resistance is typically adequate. Winnipeg, however, is another story. Extreme cold is a constant, and high winds are common. Water-proofing is the only option here. Not only will it protect more effectively from the extreme cold and winds, it will also prevent damage from ice formations. Installing it at the eaves can also help prevent future damage.
  3. Warranties are something few people want to address, but if you’re paying for a high-quality roof for your home, you need to protect your investment. These can also contain many stipulations about material, installation method, and they have variable lengths. For underlayment there is usual also a clause about needing a “clean roof deck” or removing all pre-existing roofing materials. The idea is that it will be a “fresh start” and the warranty covers installations and defective products, rather than any mistakes that may have been made previously. Speak with the contractor for more details.
  4. We also need to talk about the contractors. Make sure you have qualified roofing contractors. This means people who not only know their craft and are familiar with Manitoba building codes, but who also have the customer service side of things. Testimonials and reviews can answer the former, but you will need to judge a little bit more personally for the latter. Chances are you aren’t a construction expert, which is why you need a contractor. A quality contractor should be able and willing to explain what they plan on doing, what the costs will be, go over the warranty details, and explain what materials they will use. While they certainly don’t need to teach you all about roofing, they should be able to get the message across in a way that you can understand. You want to know what is being done to your house! Some will also give you an estimate with no charge or obligation, which can give you an idea of what you’re walking into.

Now you have the tools to acquire the right supports and make more informed decisions about the underlayment for your roof, often overlooked but incredibly important, especially in a chilly place like Winnipeg.

Is It Time for A Roof Upgrade?

Is it time for you to get a replacement or repair to your old roof? Be on the lookout for the following red flags before you call a roofer.

The majority of homeowners think they have to have new roofing after they see a leak in the ceiling. The leak might be because of many various roofing issues. However, what factors actually determine whether a roof repair is going to resolve the issue, or the property requires a roof replacement?

Below we list some tips to assist you in determining if you have to have a new roof:

 Age of your Roof

How old is your current asphalt shingle roof? The majority of professionals concur that a normal roof is going to last from 20 – 25 years. In addition, it’ll depend upon whether your old roof was removed, and you just have a single layer of shingles, and if it’s correctly ventilated. If your roof was put in over an additional layer or multiple layers and it’s older than twenty years, odds are you have to have new roofing.

 Roof shingles buckling and curling

Shingles which are buckling or curled are one other indication that you might have to have new roofing. Search your home’s slopes which obtain direct sunlight and if you see the shingles are losing granules and curling, it might mean the roof shingles are past their expectancy of life. Also, there could be a possibility that your roofing is defective. Call a licensed roofing business to check if you might be eligible for a reimbursement.

Roof valleys

If the roof shingles are missing or falling apart in this area, it is a definite indication that you have to have a new roof. Valleys include one of the most critical areas of the roof. Rain and snow flow through valleys and inside gutters. If its valley is compromised, you might be prone to roof leaks.

Missing roof shingles

These are one other indication that the roof might be failing.  See if all the roof shingle “tabs” are intact. If a homeowner notices missing shingles after a severe storm, he or she might end up requiring a new roof.

Chimney flashing

It’s an additional area that you should be concerned about. If the chimney flashing is comprised of tar or roof cement, it might have to be replaced with a water-tight, long-term fitting, which might be a metal-flashing system.

Roof shingle granules inside the gutters

Look inside the gutters to check if they’re loaded up with roof shingle granules. Roofs usually lose more granules toward the completion of their life cycle. Darker or inconsistent color upon some roof parts is one other indication that the granules have worn away.

Daylight through your roof boards

You see a spongy feel or trampoline bounce while walking on your roof, which is a sign that the underlying decking is weakened from wetness. Check the attic to see if there’s daylight coming through your roof boards. Be on the lookout also for wetness inside the insulation.

For more information on our Winnipeg roofers contact Roofco today!

How to Prepare for a Roof Replacement

As you get your home ready for a roofing installation, there is a multitude of things to do to make sure the project unfolds as smoothly as it can. Here are some things to bear in mind before your roofers arrive.

Conduct Home Roofing Research

Replacing the roof is a significant investment. As you have determined that it is time for a new roof, it is vital that you choose a home roofing provider who is going to deliver unparalleled expertise, quality materials, and exceptional work.

Before the initial hammer flies upon a roofing job, we know precisely how the project is going to unfold, step by step. This complete planning permits us to finish the majority of roofing jobs in only one day.

Be Certain the Roofing Company Can Access the Roof

It’ll go without saying that your roofers are going to require access to the roof to get the project accomplished. While an expert home roofing contractor will work as cleanly as possible, tearing off old roofing and installing new ones are big projects that take up a ton of space around your home’s perimeter. To safeguard outdoor objects from debris — and make sure the roofers are able to work as effectively as possible — it is vital that you clear sidewalks and driveways before the roofing crew arrives.

Clear Possessions from your Attic

If you have valuable items or heirlooms in the attic, think about transporting them to a safe area until the project is done. If specific items are too heavy or bulky to transport, try to cover them with drop cloths or plastic sheet to safeguard them from shingle debris and dust.

Make Arrangements for Pets and Children

If you have young children or pets, you may need to make arrangements for them to remain with a relative or friend while the new roof is being put in.

Prepare the Inside

Even though skilled roofers do their best to keep noise and dust to a minimum while performing a new roofing installation, any kind of heavy construction on your property’s frame may cause strong vibrations which shift photos and mirrors on your walls.

To decrease the risk of a mirror or photo falling during installation, it is better to temporarily take away any hanging mirrors or frames on the upper floor. You also should think about removing all glass sconces upon light fixtures which are connected with the walls on the top floor.

Prepare the Outside

Putting in a new roof means nailing thousands of shingles down. The last thing a homeowner wants to experience is a flat tire that is caused by a nail — or, worse yet, stepping onto a nail in your bare feet.

Professional roofing contractors conduct a full clean-up as a roofing installation is finished. That involves using powerful magnets, as well as specialized rolling tools made to pick nails up. Before the roofing installation, trim the grass to a short length, because nails easily can get missed as they fall into long grass.

For more information on our roofing repair company contact Roofco today!

Fall Is Here, Let’s Get Your Gutter Cleaned

As a homeowner, spending the afternoon cleaning debris from the gutters is probably not a job you look forward to, but regular gutter upkeep is critical to keeping your property’s foundation, roof, and exterior free of debris, water, and additional unwanted materials.

What may cost you one or two hours will more than make up for the possible thousands you’d spend fixing water damage to your property – or to the roof, should your gutter buckle from its content’s weight.

We cannot make cleaning the gutters sound enjoyable, or even fun, yet we may offer you suggestions which may make the job more efficient and easier. First off, let us discuss more on the importance of cleaning your gutters.

Why Do you Have to Clean your Gutters?

Your gutters are made to gather rainwater from your roof and then move it away from your home’s foundation through downspouts. As both the downspouts and gutters have to be clea to carry this task out, having clogged up gutters might cause a water overflow.

If this water has no place to travel to, it naturally will fill the gutter, as well as ultimately overflow onto your home’s foundation – and it will not stop here! Depending upon the quantity of water and your foundation’s condition, water might seep into the crawl space or basement. By itself, foundation repair might cost as much as $10,000, and if water seeps inside the basement, your house might be at risk of mold growth.

In addition, clogged gutters may cause a weight strain on the roof, as well as the fascia (boards behind your gutters). If your gutters are way too full, they possibly could collapse off your home’s roof, and cause damage to your roof’s shingles and your home’s exterior.

How Often to Clean your Gutters?

Now that you understand what is at stake with clogged up gutters, how are you going to make sure that the gutters are clean, as well as have the ability to efficiently channel water away from the house? Obviously, it isn’t practical to climb up a ladder each day, as well as check their shape.

Actually, the majority of professionals only will suggest that you clean the gutters twice per year: one time in the spring and one other time in autumn. But, depending upon your city’s climate, as well as the amount of trees that are close to your house, you might need to clean the gutters out more frequently.

It’s especially a fact if you reside in a climate in which it freezes in the wintertime. If the gutters do not have the ability to correctly drain water from the roof, the water buildup might reach the roof, as well as cause damage to the shingles as the weather dips to freezing weather conditions.

It also isn’t a bad idea to check the gutters after a serious storm. Branches, leaves, and additional debris may have become dislodged in the severe storm and discovered their way inside the gutters.

For more information on our reliable ice dam removal company contact Roofco today!