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You’re going to live and work under a roof for years to come, so choosing a quality roofing contractor is very important. Northwest Quality Roofing has prepared this short article to help you understand what to look for in a roofing contractor, so you’re covered for the duration.
Use this checklist to determine the reliability of a roofing contractor:
- Are they licensed and can they be bonded?
- Do they have liability insurance and carry workers compensation insurance?
- How are potential worker injuries handled? Make sure you won’t be liable for any accidents.
- If their equipment damages your property, who is responsible?
- Will their work meet Code, Covenant, or Restriction requirements of your area, if applicable?
- Will the contractor give you a signed permit and walk-through checklist from the final building inspection, if required?
- What is the exact business location? Get the address, even if they work out of their home.
- Has the company changed its business name? If yes, why?
- Does the owner perform the work, or does he have employees? Request the name of the project supervisor.
- Will there be subcontractors? Make sure to get their names, license number and insurance certificates.
- Verify whether there will be workers on the job every day until completed.
- Do they have a procedure in case of bad weather during the project?
- Get at least 10 references (addresses and phone numbers) of past jobs you can call and visit.
- Do they have a warranty on installation and workmanship? How long will you be covered?
- What is the amount of down payment required?
- Do they take credit cards? It is much easier to dispute charges if you pay with credit card, should you run into immediate problems.
- Does the contractor provide product literature and samples prior to the project?
- Is the contractor’s bid significantly lower than others? Be careful—quality may be an issue.
- Does the contract specify materials and brands to be used? Make sure it does and make sure these products carry warranties.
- Make sure cleanup is included in the bid, including gutters and ground areas.
- Make sure there is a solid arbitration statement in your contract. The roofer must agree to settle disputes through binding arbitration. Without such an agreement, you have no recourse.
Once work begins on your project, pay close attention to the quality and details of the work. Make sure that the contractor is using the materials agreed upon—for example if the contract calls for 30-pound felt, check the labels on the product to verify. Make sure you are getting what you are paying from, from chimney flashing, to vents and pipe jacks.
How can you tell if you need a new roof?
You may be tempted to take your roof for granted, thinking it’s the one part of your Central Oregon home that will last forever. But even if extreme weather or catastrophic events never seem to cause any apparent damage, your roof has a limited lifespan. Under the best circumstances—and depending on your roofing contractor’s skills and the quality of the labor and materials used—you may need to replace your roof every 15 to 20 years. Don’t wait for glaringly obvious roof damage. Learn to recognize the following red flags, and replace your failing roof to protect the interior of your home and prevent the skyrocketing costs of structural damage.
Black Granules on the Gutters and the Ground
Those tiny black specks are actually part of the shingle’s outer protection, designed to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the asphalt layer underneath. Missing granules expose the asphalt to the elements, causing it to degrade faster. Shingles at the end of their lifecycle shed granules more rapidly. Hail is another culprit that strips the granules from shingles.
Missing or Damaged Shingles
Shingles can reveal a roof’s condition, especially if many of the shingles are missing. If the ones that remain are cracked, wind or hail may have damaged your roof. Shingles that are no longer flat – the edges are curled or the middle buckles up – are sure signs that your roof has reached its expiration date.
A roof that bounces—or “gives”—when walked on indicates that moisture has penetrated the shingles. A roofing professional will remove the shingles to determine the extent of the damage to the roof decking.
Although a roof my sag due to issues with its support beams or decking, the cause may have nothing to do with the roof at all. A sagging roof may actually indicate that your house is sinking due to a faulty foundation. Don’t replace a sagging roof until you’ve inspected and repaired your foundation—or you may have to replace your roof again.
The Well-Maintained Roof
Taking the necessary steps to maintain your roof is a priority for residents throughout the Central Oregon region. Make an appointment with a roofing professional to inspect your roof as soon as possible. Today’s simple repair may prevent tomorrow’s roof replacement—or at least postpone it so your roof will last for years to come.
Fall is the time to prepare your roof for the winter season. Basic roof maintenance is easy and taking the proper steps will enhance your roof and help to extend its life. Between now and the first snow or freeze is the time to prepare your roof for the coming winter season
Clean The Gutters
Leaves and debris collect in your gutter system during the fall season and they can create a clog in the downspouts. Rain water can overflow the gutters, damaging your roof, trim and siding. In addition, the added weight of the leaves, debris and water can also cause your gutters to pull loose from the anchor point.
To prevent these problems and unforeseen repair costs, make sure to keep your gutters relatively clear through the fall. And, once the trees around your home are bare, do a thorough cleaning. You can also get out ahead of the fall season and have gutter screens or guards installed to prevent the collection of debris in the first place.
Clear Leaves and Pine Needles
It’s important to remove leaves, pine needles, and other debris from the your roof as well as your gutters. Even small bits of debris will hold moisture and possibly rot or mold, which will break down your roofing material.
If you’re confident and experienced in walking on your roof, get up there and broom or blow off the debris that has collected on your roof, paying special attention to the valleys, which are most vulnerable to water damage. Make sure they are free and clear of debris so as to allow water to flow. If you are not confident walking on your roof, contact us and we will send a technician to do this for you.
Look for Damage
With a clean roof, scan the surface for missing shingles or ones that have cracked curled or frayed edges.
Also check for damaged flashing around vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights. These areas are the usual suspects when you have a leak. Repairing flashing yourself may not always provide the results you expect, so give us a call and we’ll make sure everything is sealed properly before the rain hits. This is critical for extending the life of your roof.
Attic Insulation and Ventilation
Without adequate airflow in your attic, you could be looking at higher-that-necessary energy bills and roof leaks emerging in a snowstorm. During the day, sunlight hits your roof and heats up the air in your attic. Without vents located at the soffits, ridges, and/or gables of your roof, the hot air condensates, causing moisture damage and possible mold or rot in your roof’s supports.
This heat can also cause ice dams in higher elevations, inviting leaks when snow accumulates on your roof. Ice dams can be an issue in Central Oregon with our cold nights and sunny winter days. If your roof accumulates snow we can remove it. Contact us for information regarding roof snow removal.