How to Know If Your Roofing Contractor Has Done a Good Job
Many Louisiana roofers perform admirable work. They purchase quality materials and pay attention to detail. Unfortunately, a few contractors cut corners to save time or money. Others lack the skills needed to install durable roofing. To find out if your contractor did a good job, carefully examine the design and condition of your roof.
How Many Layers?
It's harder to maintain a roof that has three or more layers of shingles. Extra layers also burden the house with unnecessary weight. Reputable contractors remove old shingles if a building already has two layers of this roofing material.
Drip Edge Issues
Roofers must install drip edges to prevent water damage, basement flooding, stains and soil erosion. If your home has a shingle roof, the gables and eaves should feature a drip edge. This metal flashing fits between the shingles and underlayment. It carries rainwater away from the house and enables gutters to work correctly.
A drip edge won't protect your home if the contractor installs it improperly. Professionals know that these metal sheets need to reach gutters at a 45-degree pitch. Proper installation greatly increases the life span of the roof and walls, especially in moist places like Louisiana.
To stop water from leaking into your home, roofers should install metal flashing around vent pipes, chimneys and similar protrusions. It's important to place this material under rather than over shingles. Chimneys need a combination of counterflashing and step flashing; a single sheet of metal won't prevent water from entering the attic.
Some roofing businesses try to substitute flashing with caulk and roof cement. These sealants only eliminate leaks for short periods of time. Unfortunately, they can't withstand the amount of water that falls on a typical roof. Workers need patience and comprehensive expertise to complete high-quality roofing jobs.
If any roof edges touch walls, they should have kick-out flashing. This material stops water from running down an exterior wall. When roofers neglect to install kick-out flashing, the wall and any nearby window or door frames may rot.
Responsible roofing companies don't reuse decaying materials when they put new roofs on old buildings. At a minimum, they replace any rusty flashing. Roofers should also give you an opportunity to install new vent pipes if existing units have deteriorated.
Does your chimney measure more than 30 inches wide? If so, the contractor ought to have installed a "saddle" that prevents leaves and rainwater from collecting behind the chimney. Instead, water flows into gutters or off the edge of the roof. This preserves the wood under your shingles and stops the flashing from rusting.
Roofers should place an underlayment between the sheathing and shingles. This barrier helps protect your house from water leaks. It often permits the roof to last much longer as well. An underlayment represents a crucial part of any professional roofing project.
When a roof lacks an underlayment or sufficient nails, it's likely to suffer major damage in a storm. Your roofing contractor probably did satisfactory work if severe weather doesn't inflict significant harm. On the other hand, the opposite may be true when a storm damages your shingles and leaves neighbors' roofs intact.
A roofing contractor should hammer at least four nails into every shingle. However, windy locations generally call for six nails. Shingles ought to hide the nail heads; exposed heads may rust or loosen. It's also important to use nails of the appropriate size.
Your shingles should hang over the edge of the roof. This overhang must measure at least one-half and no more than three quarters of an inch. A proper overhang prevents wood from rotting while increasing the life span of shingles.
Professional roofers make an effort to align shingles correctly. Precise alignment improves their appearance and reduces the risk of water leaks. All shingles should age at the same rate. This will only happen if your contractor used the same high-quality materials in all locations.
A well-designed roof won't leak for many years unless it suffers damage in severe weather. If dark stains appear on the roof, water might have leaked through the surface material. Be sure to check the attic for damage when you try to determine the severity of a leak.
The average life span of a roof differs depending on the material. For example, fiberglass shingles typically last longer than asphalt units. These materials may deteriorate prematurely if you experience severe weather or have a poorly ventilated attic. At the minimum, a well-made roof ought to last 15 years under normal conditions.
Skilled roofers strive to avoid walking across the roof more often than necessary. The surface shouldn't exhibit a lot of grime, footprints or cracks. These flaws detract from your home's appearance and shorten the life span of various materials. They could reduce the building's resale value as well.
Reputable contractors aim to avoid damaging other parts of your property. A roofing project shouldn't harm the lawn, trees, bushes or walkways. The same goes for siding and windows. Responsible workers make mistakes from time to time, but they take steps to remedy these errors.
Top-notch roofing contractors don't leave construction debris on your property. They have an obligation to remove extra supplies, empty packages, stray nails, old shingles and similar items. You shouldn't have to gather and dispose of these materials. Keep in mind that some construction debris may contain toxic substances.
Reputable roofers acquire building permits before they begin working. If a company skipped this vital step or asked you to acquire the permits, it probably doesn't have insurance or a license. This increases the likelihood that you'll face unexpected costs or receive a roof with serious defects.
You can perform a basic assessment of your roof with binoculars. This tool could help you determine if the workers used nails, flashing and other materials correctly. Call a professional inspector or another contractor if you desire an expert opinion.
Southside Roofing inspects, fixes and installs roofs for Louisiana home and business owners. Our insured, certified staff takes the time to perform superior work and meet each customer's specific needs. We possess almost 20 years of experience in this industry. To get started, please contact Southside today.
Contact Southside Roofing today at 337-856-ROOF for a free estimate