5 Things You Should Know About Roof Cleaning

Roof cleaning is a significant part of roof maintenance. After all, most roofing problems are caused by accumulated leaves, dirt, and debris. As a roofer with extensive experience in roof cleaning and maintenance, let S.C.I. share with you these things that you should know about roof cleaning.

  1. You can extend your roof’s lifespan – A clean roof is less likely to develop problems like rot and decay, which could lead to expensive repairs or even a complete roof replacement. Regular roof cleaning, combined with a routine scheduled maintenance, can keep your roof in top shape, and extend its lifespan beyond its expected service life.
  2. Your roof can better resist extreme weather – Another important benefit of having a clean roof is that it will more likely keep its shape when subjected to extreme weather. The problem with accumulated leaves or dirt is that they collect moisture, which could later freeze and damage even newly-installed roofing.
  3. It keeps your gutters clean – Clean roofs also help keep your gutters clean. It may sound insignificant, but clear and fully functional gutters prevent bigger problems, from destroyed landscaping to irreversible damage to the house foundations caused by clogged gutters.
  4. Roof algae are more than just ugly – Algae on the roof truly is an unwelcome sight, especially if you have light-colored roofs. But it’s more than just an aesthetic concern: algae feeds on certain components of asphalt shingles, causing premature deterioration and shortening its lifespan. Plus, if you had opted for a cool roof, algae negates your roof’s energy efficiency. Using chemical solutions to get rid of algae is risky, not just for your roof but for yourself and your family, so it’s best to leave the roof cleaning to professionals, like ourselves.
  5. Roof cleaning saves you money in the long run – Professional roof cleaning is a relatively cheap roofing service. Factor in the money you’ll save from potential major repair and maintenance work, plus the energy savings from a roof working at top efficiency, the money you spend on professional roof cleaning will practically pay for itself over time.

7 Secret Questions To Ask Roofing Contractors

If you’re looking to hire a roofing contractor (and if you’re anything like our friends and family), then I’m certain you want to do the job ONE time, right? Roofing isn’t a fun job to do twice because the process can quickly take up lots of your valuable time and hard-earned money…

 

Step #1: Determine A Roofer’s Credibility With These 3 Simple Questions

Before you even consider a roofer’s price, you need to make sure they’re credible. This is beyond important in protecting yourself from getting a bad installation.

Though there are many questions you could ask, we recommend using these three during your phone screening:

Question #1: What is your legal business name?

Getting a roofer’s legal business name is especially important nowadays because of how easy it is to falsely represent yourself online. A little detective work can go a long way in your pursuit of hiring the right contractor.

Answers you can accept:

  • The exact name they’re marketing themselves as
  • Our legal company name is X, but we’re ‘doing business as’ Y
  • We market ourselves as ‘Roofing Company’, but our legal business name is Roofing Company LLC or Roofing Company Inc

Don’t accept answers that sound hesitant, or are unclear. This is the easiest way to guard against being scammed. When in doubt, ask for proof! No roofer should have trouble emailing you a copy of state licenses or proof of insurance.

Question #2: What level of roofing insurance do you have?

Roofing insurance can get tricky as many states may require different levels of insurance depending on what type of contractor you are.

To figure out what level of insurance is needed in your state, head over to Google, type in “[YOUR STATE] roofing insurance requirements,” then choose a result from your state’s official website. You’ll want a .gov website to be certain, not a .com or net. Using Massachusetts as an example, the site is “mass.gov.”

Answers you can accept:

  • An exact match, or an amount exceeding the minimum state requirements
  • A copy of the company’s liability policy sent via email after the phone call

Don’t accept answers that are indecisive, hesitant, or don’t match local, state, and/or federal requirements. Even if the company doesn’t have insurance, it’s easy to answer “yes, we have insurance.” Giving an exact amount is harder, which is why we recommend asking this way.

If a roofer is hesitant over the phone when you ask this question, it is a red flag, but they may not be lying. If so, you don’t need to rule them out right away. Just ask for them to email you a copy of their insurance liability policy

Question #3: Who will be on the job site during my roofing installation?

If you’re hiring a reputable roofing contractor, there’s a good chance they may have more than one roofing project going on in one day.

But if the company owner isn’t going to be on your property during the install, then who’s going to be around to ensure the project goes smoothly?

Don’t panic!

Many larger roofing companies have a “project manager” whose sole focus is to make sure your roof is being installed in accordance with both local laws and manufacturer guidelines.

So if the manager or owner of the company won’t be present during ‘install day,’ it’s important that an experienced project manager will be.

This is an easy question to ask any roofer over the phone.

Answers you can accept:

  • Owner of the roofing company
  • Manager of the company
  • Project manager trained by the organization

Don’t take this for an answer: “Our roofers are very experienced, so they don’t need supervision.” While it IS important to have experienced roofers on your crew, an efficient installation will only happen if there’s an industry expert in charge.

Step #2: Pre-Screen For Ethical Roofers Using These 4 Questions

Question #4: Can you leave the roof estimate in my mailbox?

Answers you can accept:

  • No, because we may need to ask you questions.
  • No, because you’ll need to choose which materials you prefer so the estimate is accurate.
  • No, because depending on what we find outside we may need to inspect your attic.

Don’t accept answers that allow a roofing contractor just to drop off an estimate in your mailbox because the price they leave may increase when materials change, or if more work needs to be done than was originally expected.

Question #5: What is your roofing price per square foot?

Roof pricing is complex.

Lots of factors that go into how much your roof will cost, including:

  • Current market price of roofing materials
  • Age of roof
  • Pitch of roof
  • # of layers on the existing roof
  • Known issues
  • The condition of the shingles
  • The condition of the wood decking

And many more…

Important: if many factors go into determining the price of a new roof, then shouldn’t you choose a roofer who’s able to both explain each factor? Don’t you want a roofing company to holistically determine your roof’s health before putting a price tag on its replacement?

We think so… Which is why we factor in all of the above when determining how much new roofs cost in Georgia.

Answers you can accept include ones that take many factors into consideration. You’ll want a roofer who prices your roof from a holistic point of view because it shows they’re acting ethically and are pricing the job from an experienced point of view.

Don’t accept answers that consider just one factor. You don’t want to hire a roofer who only prices your roof based on its pitch, how many layers it has, or even how big it is (size). This is a recipe for disaster because it not only allows lots of room for error but leaves you as a homeowner open for surprises on install day when you’re most vulnerable.

Question #6: Can you do a layover instead of a full roof replacement?

roofing layover is when the roofer nails new shingles directly over your existing shingles instead of first taking them off. Laying one layer directly over the other.

Important: If the roofing contractor answers “Yes, we can do a layover instead of a full roof replacement!” then it may be a sign that they’re just out to make a buck because this practice can be detrimental to your roof’s health.

Why is a “roofing layover” bad for your roof?

Think about why you’re looking to replace your roof in the first place…

Most likely, it’s because there’s something wrong! And if this is the case, then why cover it up? Covering up your existing problems with a roof layover won’t protect your for long, if at all, and in many cases will do more damage than good in the short term.

Do you know how heavy shingles are?

HEAVY! Like, really heavy…

Strong architectural shingles from well-known manufacturers like GAF and can weigh up to 350 pounds per square!

Answers you can accept, especially if you’re living in Georgia, should only include a “no” when you ask for a layover.

Don’t accept answers that allow for any type of layover because although you’ll save money in the short-term, the long-term (including exponentially increasing your chance of a cave-in) is far greater.

Question #7: Does the roof estimator reallyneed to come inside my house?

Why a roofer needs to come inside your home…

Roofers should come inside your home for an estimate so they can inspect the attic space, especially if there are signs of water damage (moss, lichen, etc) on the exterior of the roof. Not doing so can result in thousands and thousands of dollars in surprise charges on install day…

But what if you don’t have an attic space?

If you don’t have an attic space, letting a qualified roofer inside your home is that much more important! A trained roofing eye can quickly spot small cracks and stains on your interior walls or on your ceilings. These are tell-tale signs of a leak and such a discovery MUST be taken seriously.

Answers you can accept include only those that require the estimator to come inside your home. If the roofing service your speaking with over the phone does not make this a priority, then only hire them if they require you hire a professional attic inspection before they complete the job.

Don’t accept answers that only consider exterior roof damage like curling shingles or moss. In many cases, roofing systems that look okay from the outside are riddled with the interior damage that is far more important to your home’s health than interior damage ever would be.

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The Truth About DIY Roofing

Let’s talk about unspoken dangers first. Roofers have something instinctual similar to what sailors call sea legs. Roofers have spent so much time on roofs that they just know how to walk around, even on a slick roof, and not only maneuver skillfully but also feel comfortable while doing so. This comes from years of experience on a roof.

The typical homeowner doesn’t spend any time on their roof, and even if you happen to be a rock climber or a skydiver and you are already comfortable with heights, traversing a roof is an entirely different animal. The moral of all this is that being on a roof has an element of danger that is not often considered. Gusts of wind can come out of nowhere, and if you are carrying an OSB panel or something similar, you will likely find yourself on the ground and in pain.

Do-It-Yourself Roofing

After you have considered your ability and quelled your fear of being on a roof, you now need to consider the task at hand. Roofing is a lot like making a milkshake: there are not that many ingredients, and the chore itself seems simple, but to make a really good one, you need to know what you are doing. This metaphor breaks down in that if you make a bad milkshake you don’t have to drink it, but if you do a bad job of putting on a roof, you will have to live with it year round or spend additional money to have your home re-roofed.

Painting is the easiest and most often attempted the DIY project, and kitchen remodeling is the least often. Roofing has to be somewhere here in the middle. Whether it is closer to kitchen remodeling or closer to painting depends on how much experience you have with roofing.

Roofing Advice

If you absolutely need a new roof to lower your energy bills and keep water and wind out of your house, but you cannot afford it, talk to a professional roofer. You may be a firm believer in doing some of the work yourself. If a tiling pro is coming to redo your floors, perhaps you’d want to rip up the old floor before he arrived. With roofing, talk with your roofing pro to see if he will allow you to tear out the old roof for a discount. Some roofers are so busy during the summer that they are happy to have you do some of this work.

Professional roofing contractors still need to install the new roof, whatever roofing material it happens to be. Installing a new roof yourself is not encouraged. If you are handy and have some roofing knowledge, then most likely you don’t even need to read this article. But if you are considering whether or not you can do this, you absolutely can.

Tearing out the old roof is just muscle and sweat. Applying the new roof requires a little more skill, and it needs to be done quickly so that your roof is not vulnerable to the elements. This in combination with the danger of being on a roof, makes this a tough task for those who have little experience with roofing.

Source: https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/diy-roofing/#ixzz5Aqaq3vEZ

Roof Vents – Protect Your Roof and Home

The relationship between the roof and attic is one that many homeowners don’t understand. Some homeowners have heard that their roofs may not have adequate ventilation and think someone is trying to get them to sink a bunch of money into a superfluous home improvement project. In fact, roof vents are critical to extending the life of your roof, especially in newer homes. Given that putting in a new roof tends to be the most expensive home improvement installation of a home’s lifetime, protecting your roof is a vital piece of responsible homeownership.

The Modern Home and Roof Ventilation

You may have learned that older homes have little, if any, roof ventilation and seem to be holding up just fine. Older homes tend to have inferior weatherstripping, window insulation, and generally are not as airtight. This makes for extremely low energy-efficiency, but enough overall air circulation to combat the lack of roof ventilation. Upgrading your insulation and putting in replacement windows will dramatically cut down on your utility costs, but it may also create a ventilation problem. Condensation may begin to form on your windows and moisture may begin to infiltrate your roof as well, causing ice dams or rot on the roof frame. To circumvent this problem, adequate roof ventilation in the form of some type of roof vent is absolutely necessary.

Roof Ridge Vents

If you have a cathedral ceiling, roof ridge vents are the roof ventilation system of choice, but any number of roof vent systems can be generally effective. Roof vents include roof ridge vents, soffit vents, and gable vents. Each of these vents has slightly different designs themselves but can also overlap. For example, a soffit vent is a type of ridge vent, but ridge vents don’t necessarily have to be installed on your roof soffits. Studies are notoriously unreliable, as they are conducted in controlled, laboratory settings that often don’t play out in real homes. Older roof ridge vents would allow blowing snow to enter your attic space, causing structural damage. That problem was fixed. The technology is getting better and better, but we still don’t know anywhere near everything about roof ventilation. One of the only things you can trust is that any roof ventilation system will be better than no ventilation in modern homes.

Hip Roof Vents and Ventilation

Hip roofs can be more difficult to ventilate than other roof designs. The long continuous roof area makes for naturally more difficult ventilation, but it also makes ventilation more important. Soffit vents and a power attic fan tend to work best in combination, and although ridge vents and attic fans can interfere with each other and reduce efficiency, they still get the job done. If you need to install any kind of roof ventilation and especially hip roof vents, you should talk to multiple contractors. You may be discouraged if you find their suggestions contradict one another. They may both have valid points for your particular roof and local climate conditions. Try to find a roofing contractor who seems to have a good sense of how roofs work in general and one who is keeping up the latest roof ventilation research. Again, we may discover in another ten years a comprehensive roof vent system, but you can’t wait that long. Different systems may have different pros and cons, but installing roof vents now can help extend the life of roof and attic.

Source: https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/roof-vents/#ixzz5Aqa2rBeV

3 Things Proactive Property Managers Want To Know About Roofs

Cost of an annual roof walk for preventive maintenance?

The cost of a roof walk check is going to vary depending on the size of the apartment complex. If you have a number of buildings, the unit investment is going to be lower.

Tenant communication is key in roof work

The ideal client for us is one who is proactive. They want to maintain their building. They want to keep their tenants happy. And they see the value of having a roof system that keeps water, snow, and ice out because that is much cheaper than having to come back and fix it.

Starting a roof repair can highlight other maintenance issues

We have had tenants approach our roofing crews and ask, ‘Ok that’s great you are getting the roof fixed but when are you going to come back and fix the damage inside my unit from the leaks?

Local codes and requirements for roofs

In some states, each community may adopt its own building codes and standard requirements. So you do have variation in requirements. Property management has to be sure and check all locally applicable codes and requirements.

Top 3 questions property managers ask when they call a roofer

No. 1 – Can we do a localized repair rather than replace the whole roof?

That is usually your first fear, that we are going to come back and say everything needs to be redone. And sometimes that is the case but usually, we are able to do one plane or face of the roof, or in a flat roof just a section of it as far as repairs go. Localized repair rather than replace the whole roof? Our experience with flat roofs is that if we can catch it early enough we can do roof restoration. If maintenance is deferred too long then we are looking for a replacement. And there is a tremendous difference in cost.

No. 2 – How much will it cost?

Money is always an issue. Can it be a localized repair, and what will it cost?

No. 3 – How quickly can you get it done?

If it is a leak they want us there immediately to at least stop the leak and then come back when it is not raining to do the repairs.

With the property managers that we deal with it really has been nice that for the most part, they are proactive.

They are looking ahead for their budget for next year. They want us to walk their roofs and give them our honest opinion about the condition of the roofs and what they can do to maintain them rather than having to replace them.

Roofing : Apartments, Townhomes, & Condos

Many apartment buildings have flat or slightly sloping roofs, similar to larger commercial buildings. Most town-homes have pitched roofs, similar to single-family residences.

Flat Apartment Building Roofs are commonly installed with a Single-Ply Membrane, a flexible sheet of compounded synthetic materials that are manufactured in a factory. There are three common types of membranes: thermosets, thermoplastics, and modified bitumens. These materials provide strength, flexibility, and long-lasting durability. The advantages of pre-fabricated sheets are the consistency of the product quality, the versatility of their attachment methods, and, therefore, their broader applicability. They are inherently flexible, used in a variety of attachment systems, and compounded for long-lasting durability and watertight integrity for years of roof life.

For Pitched Roof Townhomes, Asphalt products are the most commonly used roofing material. Asphalt products include shingles, roll-roofing, built-up roofing, and modified bitumen membranes. Asphalt shingles are typically the most common and economical choice for this type of roofing. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and textures.

Most Commonly Asked Roofing Questions

There are a few questions in particular that come up.

“My roof is leaking—do I need to have the whole thing replaced?”

Sometimes the scariest thing is not knowing, and for homeowners who’ve sprung a leak, it’s hard to beat back visions of the whole roof collapsing before their very eyes. Thankfully, depending on the size and the location, you may be able to get away without a new roof.

“Why do I need to hire a professional? Can’t I do this work myself?”

  • You may seriously damage their roof. At their most innocuous, improperly nailed roofs can result in ripples, lifted shingles, and leaks. On the more serious side, there is potential for roof collapse and even bodily harm. A DIYer may have replaced a few shingles here and there, but they need to understand that roof work is a whole different animal.
  • It may not even be legal. Depending on the home’s location, the local jurisdiction may forbid the homeowner from doing roofing work on their homes by themselves, and certainly without a license.
  • You may void a manufacturer’s warranty. Improper installations result in so many roofing replacements that manufacturers often won’t cover a roof that isn’t installed by a licensed contractor.

“Can you roof over my existing shingles?”

  • Shingles must be laid as flat as possible to be effective. 
  • Shingles add weight to roofs. Here’s a factoid to remember: every 100 square feet of quality roofing adds 350 to 450 pounds of weight.
  • A tear-off will allow you to inspect the underlayment and decking. 
  • Reroofing may void warranties or create problems come inspection time. 

“How much will it cost?”

Our material differences that can affect project costs, and it depends on how steep roofs are or remote locations, and heavier materials.

Basement Remodeling Ideas

No matter your predicament, here are a few of our favorite basement remodeling ideas that will hopefully inspire you and help guide you towards the best choice for your space.

  • Guest Suite: If you love entertaining company for long weekends and want extra space for them to stay, turning your basement into a cozy “guest suite” with all the accouterments of a home away from home may be the choice for you. You can include everything from a bed to a breakfast nook to a private bathroom area and more.
  • Living Room: If your family needs more space to stretch out and relax, you may think about home remodeling to give you extra living space. A basement area with a couch and television gives everyone a chance to watch what they want, and it’s also great for group movie nights or football parties.
  • Home Office: Other times, you need a space to concentrate and get things done. A combined library-study-office space is one of our favorite basement remodeling ideas for people who work from home or who have teens that need to hit the books.
  • Man Cave: We’d be remiss not to include the “man cave,” but exactly what that means can differ from person to person. Some imagine a game room with a pool or ping-pong table, while others want a video gaming system or music practice space. Of course, women can have “caves,” too. Bottom line: create a space that will allow you to pursue your passions!
  • Mini Kitchen or Bar: Who wouldn’t want a bar in the convenience of their own home? You can make a great gathering space in any basement, or extra room for the budding gourmet in your house to practice their cooking skills. Just be sure to follow the same rules in your basement as you would for kitchen remodeling: make a triangle of your workspace between the stove, refrigerator, and sink that measures a perimeter between nine feet to 21 feet.