Archive for the ‘Roof Repair 101’ Category

Managing Roof Costs

roof costsRoof repair and replacement can be one of the more expensive aspects of homeownership, especially if the cost of the work isn’t covered by insurance. For many people, even minor roof damage can quickly add up to large out of pocket expenses. Luckily, there are a few ways to avoid being caught off guard by costly repair work.

Reducing Risk

The most important aspect to keeping roof costs low is routine inspection and maintenance. Many people wait until a problem arises before ever taking care of their roof. This is a huge mistake. Instead of waiting for an obvious sign of a problem, conduct season inspections of your roof to ensure the materials are in good condition. Look for things like cracked, broken or missing shingles. Check to make sure the flashing has a good seal and that there aren’t any gaps in the roof materials near structures. An inspection of the attic ceiling should also be conducted to ensure there aren’t any indications of water leaks or damage.

Even with routine inspection and maintenance, a roof doesn’t last forever. There will come a time when it need to be replaced. The average roof replacement can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $25,000, depending on the size of the home and materials used. That being said, there is really only one way to ensure you are prepared, and that is by saving money. If you purchase a home with 10 years left on the life of the roof, you can safely plan to replace that roof within at least five years. Never assume you have the full life of the roof remaining before replacement becomes imminent. Save money ahead of time so that you aren’t put into a financial hardship over the costs to replace the roof.

Improving Roofs Through Upgrades

Homeowners are always looking for ways to make home improvements that boost the look and quality of the home. One area often overlooked for upgrades is the roof. New roof products are available in a variety of styles and materials that can make enhancing the feel of a home quick and easy.

Moving Up

Most people ignore their roof until it is time for roof repair or replacement. Even if you don’t need any work to be done for the integrity of your roof, you can still make some changes that will improve the look and the quality.

Consider adding metal accents to certain parts of the roof. Adding a small accent piece to portions of the home is both cost effective and aesthetically interesting.  A popular area for a  metal accent is the portico, or small front porch of a home. Homes with various roof lines may choose to install metal roof pieces along certain sections only, one example is the gable. A mansard roof is a unique roof shape often found in historic or more traditionally styled homes. Their shape, paired with a metal or slate tile accent, can really make a home stand out from the rest.

Another way to upgrade a home is by choosing a higher quality product. Slate tiles are more expensive than a traditional asphalt shingle, but offers a higher caliber look. Also, slate tiles are more durable and longer lasting that a traditional asphalt roof, saving money in the long run. If price is a concern, there are upgraded options available that can work with just about any budget. Even traditional asphalt shingles now come in a variety of qualities, even offering recycled materials. Although the aesthetic appeal may be the same, a higher quality product or one made from recycled materials can offer more benefits than the bottom of the line model.



Roof Repair Contracts Beware

contractOf course a contractual agreement is always a smart idea when it comes to receiving services for home or roof repair. However, not all contracts are created equal and many may contain hidden terms or conditions that could result in unfavorable consequences.

Read and Review

As one of them most costly repairs to your home, a roofing job comes with many considerations. First, homeowners should know that roof repair contracts come in many forms. Some are to authorize inspections, and some for repair or replacement work. What you may not even suspect to be a legal binding contract can be snuck into your paperwork and hold you accountable for unknown conditions. For example, there have been cases in which a roofer asks the homeowner to sign a paper allowing them to inspect the roof. Unfortunately, this paper also contained language that states the homeowner agrees to hire the company for the job, leaving the homeowner legally bound into a service contract unknowingly.

While the majority of roof contractors are high quality companies that uphold the highest ethical standards, there are a fair number who are operating under unprofessional conduct. Rather than carry a general attitude of distrust, homeowners should stick to applying a thorough mindset for any services they receive by always reading a contract before signing it. In general, homeowners should look for:

  • A detailed description of services rendered
  • An outlined cost of the services to be received
  • A specific date of when the service is to be performed
  • A specific date of when the payment is to be made
  • A summary of liability held by the company


Inmate Labor to Repair Jail Roof

The 256,000 square feet Floyd County Jail serving Floyd County and the City of Rome in Georgia will soon be getting a new roof. Built in 1982 and renovated in 1998 the 30 year old roof needs to be replaced.

During a mock fire drill they found damage to the electrical wiring, light fixtures and ceiling tiles caused by the leaky roof.

Once the County Commission caucuses approve the bid on Tuesday, inmates at the 828 bed facility will begin repairing the jail roof on Friday. By purchasing the materials and using the inmate labor, the new roof is expected to cost less than $195,000. Some previous estimates on the roof were around $900,000.

20 Year Warranty on Materials

Negotiations were made with the roofing materials supplier to ensure the 20 year warranty would still be valid using inmate labor instead of using a licensed roofing contractor. Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell said “it’s getting the best bang for the taxpayer’s buck.”

Once the work begins they will use helicopters to remove the heating and air conditioning units from the roof. The sheriff’s office found it is cheaper to use the helicopters than renting a crane to replace more than a dozen of the 60 roof mounted units each year.

Poor Roof Insulation is Costly Mistake for School

In Gaffney South Carolina the Cherokee County School District will spend $1.7 million to repair the high schools roof.

When the high school on Twin Lake Rd. was built 10 years ago the builder only used one inch of insulation instead of the standard two inches. Over the last 10 years heating and air-conditioning costs have reached $63,000.

School superintendent Dr. Quincie Moore said “We want to make sure we spend the taxpayers’ money very wisely. Now we’ve learned about it, and we’re trying to put things in place to make sure we don’t make that same mistake again.”

Consultant to Monitor Job Site

The school will have a consultant on hand to monitor the work and to ensure the roof receives adequate insulation this time. The new roof will have three inches of insulation with a projected savings of over $100,000 in the next 20 years.

The school district is also considering suing the original contractor and construction company to recover its losses.

Roof Warranty Basics

roof warrantyJust like any important product installation around the home, your roof material comes with a warranty. More people are becoming educated as to the different roof materials available to install on their home, but there is still much to be learned about roofing product warranties.

The Good and The Bad

If you have gone through the roof repair or new roof process, then you  understand all the decisions that must be made. Between finding the right roofing contractor to choosing the best material for the look and style of your home, your work is cut out for you. Further, not all roof materials are created equal and many come with vast differences in their product warranties that can significantly influence your future experience with the roof.

The length of the warranty refers to the duration of protection offered under the warranty, which tells you how long the product manufacturer is willing to replace malfunctioning roof products. In general, the longer the warranty the better. For example, a 30 year warranty is better than a 20 year warranty in most cases. However, there are other things to consider when choosing a product warranty.

Some longer term warranties may not cover all repairs, or may only cover damage and repairs on a reactive basis. In other words, if minor damage is discovered the warranty may not cover the costs to repair or replace the materials until the damage has met a certain criteria. The problem here becomes the vulnerability of the roof to water damage and other problems while the minor repairs need for the roof go untouched until they meet warranty standards.  Also, some warranties only cover certain parts of the roof system and  may not cover all the materials such as flashing or base materials.

Homeowners should evaluate their needs in terms of roof product warranties. If full coverage is important, look for a warranty that offers a higher level of coverage for all roof systems and materials, not just the shingles themselves. If length of warranty or cost is more important, chose a warranty that offers basic material coverage for a longer duration.

Roof Repair Done Right

roof repairYour roof is one of the most important aspects of maintaining the integrity of your home. However, the roof is also the most overlooked structure in terms of maintenance and repair. Roof repair costs aren’t always cheap and many people find the entire process to be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

Know Your Stuff

Roof contractors recommend that you inspect your roof routinely for damage or signs of disrepair. Catching a problem with the roof early on can be the difference in hundreds of dollars in repair costs. Simple shingle damage or debris can usually be resolved by you with minimal effort. If the roof does need to be repaired by a professional, there are a few tricks that you can use to ensure you get the best for their money.

1. Educate yourself about the different types of roof materials. There are several types of roof materials, each providing different benefits to a home. Find out what is common in your neighborhood and check to see if you can find these materials in a recycled or green roof product.

2. Shop around for the best roofer. Not all roofing companies are the same and the differences can be extremely important to the quality of the job. Obtain multiple bids, ask questions, request references and verify credentials before hiring a company to perform your roof repair.

3. Understand the process. Roof repair and replacement is a large job. Although a good roofer can have the job completely in a few short days, you can expect for there to be some noise and debris during the process.  Keep the work area free of clutter, pets and people during the construction and be sure to have the roofer clean up any old materials and waste when they leave.

Springtime Roof Considerations

roof repairThe first day of spring is just around the corner, which means that homeowners should be getting ready to prepare their homes for the summer months. Springtime brings lots of roofing challenges such as unstable weather conditions, increased pests and even roof contractor concerns. As the season begins to change it is important for every homeowner to know the challenges associated with the upcoming months.

The Weather

Springtime is notorious for heavy rainfall and unpredictable storms. Certain parts of the country may even experience severe weather conditions such as hail and tornadoes. Weather related damage is the number one reason for roof repair costs in the spring and summer months. The trouble isn’t just in the weather conditions alone, but in the failure to properly maintain the roof before a storm hits. In fact, insurance companies often deny roof repair claims on the basis that the homeowner failed to inspect or maintain the roof adequately prior to a major weather event. Therefore, homeowners should prioritize having the roof inspected and any minor repairs completed prior to the start of springtime.


Another area of concern brought about by the change in weather is the increase in roof contractor scams. While there are plenty of reputable companies in operation, there are always a handful lurking around the corner waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. The most common scam, or suspicious contractor activity, comes in the form of unsolicited bids or quotes. Door-to-door salesman attempting to sell services or stating the home’s roof appears to be damage should be considered suspicious. Although there may be legitimate causes for concern regarding roof damage, it is always best to call in an unsolicited contractor or two to perform inspections.

Roofing Red Flags

rooferThese days one can never be too careful when doing business, especially when that business involves hiring someone to perform services around your home. Unfortunately, there are cases happening everyday where a homeowner is take advantage of or scammed by contractors performing home repairs. Even the roof repair industry is not free from poor quality companies operating to make quick money.

Trapped In Your Own Home

Hiring a roof contractor to replace or repair your roof is a big event. You are likely to be paying big money for the work to be completed, and having it completed correctly is very important. Between poor quality work, padded estimates and insurance claim fraud, you have much to be on the lookout for when having work done to your home. The following should be considered red flags when dealing with roof repair services:

  • Up-front fee requirements, especially those with no money back guarantee offers
  • Failure to produce proof of license/certification or copy of company insurance
  • Significantly lower bid than other companies
  • No references available for previous work done
  • Labor contract with no cancellation or termination clause
  • Hard sell of services, roof materials or products
  • Difficulty contacting company manager/owner
  • Failing to show up on time or follow proposed schedule
  • No reviews online, through word of mouth or the BBB


Roof Pitch

The main purpose of a pitched roof is to allow rain and snow to slide off of a roof. Typically, the more rain and snow you get in your area, the more the pitch you will need. Also different roofing materials require different pitch levels and building codes in your area may vary.

Rise, run and pitch are common terms used when discussing roof slopes. Pitch, also called “slope” is the number of inches that rise for every 12 inches of horizontal distance; it is expressed as “_” in 12. Roofs steeper than 8 in 12 are difficult to install roofing on, especially if there are also a number of dormers, hips and valleys.

One way to determine the slope of your roof is to use a foot long level and put it on the roof surface. Make sure it is level and then use a tape measure and run it from the free end of the level straight down to the roof surface. The number of inches on the tape measure will be your slope.

When you get an estimate for roof repair or replacement, the pitch will be factored in the roofing estimate. The steeper the roof, the more difficult and sometimes dangerous it is to do the work. Most asphalt roofs are somewhere between 2 in 12 and 4 in 12.