This week-end was especially rainy. At times it seemed to be really coming down in buckets. Although most people don't like rainy whether it's great for giving you clues about how well your roof is keeping water out of the house. If your roof didn't do as well as you would have hoped and expected it to in keeping the family dry this week-end, and you are thinking about replacing it, you might want to consider some of the following tips on shopping for a new roof.
Before contracting with a roofer to replace your roof try to determine if it can simply be repaired. If it is an asphalt shingle roof, as most in this area are, and it is beginning to lose its granular coating and shrink, crack and curl, and if pieces of the roof shingles easily break off and crumble in your hand, your roof is most likely in need of replacement.
Although it is generally permissible and less expensive to lay new asphalt shingles on top of old ones, doing this obviously makes it impossible to inspect the sheathing underneath or to replace worn flashing. If you're planning to reroof with wooden shingles, a much better job will most definitely result by removing the current shingles 1st.
It's a good idea to replace any worn flashing, gutters, rotting sheathing, fascia boards and rafters when you replace your roof shingles. If your roof flashing is copper or stainless steel and it's in good shape, it can be kept. Keep in mind that your contractor is not ordinarily obliged to replace flashing unless it is specified in your agreement with him. Any metal valleys formed with painted aluminum should be .024 inches thick or better; If formed with copper, it should be 16 ounces per square foot or more; If stainless steel is used, it should be 26 or 28 gauge. Closed valleys formed by interwoven shingles are definitely destined to leak.
Make sure the rakes and eaves of the roof have proper drip edge. Specify 30 pound felt underlayment and organic-reinforced asphalt shingles rather than fiberglass-reinforced asphalt shingles. The weight and warrantee of the shingles are considerations as well. And be sure to ask your roofer to leave a bundle of shingles behind to use for future roof repairs.
Last but certainly not least, interview a number of roofers before picking one, the one man operation as well as the big well known company. You might find that the roofer who works for and by himself is less expensive than the big roofing company. If he is properly insured and has good references, that might be the way to go.
Steve Hubbard owns and operates Steve Hubbard Real Estate Services.