“This Old House” know’s roofing.

Aside

After reading a few industry expert articles we noticed “This Old House” had a fantastic Q and A article on roof replacement. We believe prior to calling a license contractor you should be aware of potential problem’s and learn about roofing issues. The more informed you are the more likely you’ll have an idea of what need’s to be done and avoid the possibility of getting taken advantage of.  There’s a few Q & A’s posted here, but we recommend checking them all out on their page. Hope this can help you out.  Remember if you have checked the web and need a license professional maybe it’s time to call Total Roofing & Construction. 

Informational

1. Q: How do you know when an asphalt shingle roof needs replacement? Are there clues to look for before telltale water stains appear on our plaster ceilings?

—Pat, Plymouth, Minn.

A: Tom Silva replies: There are several clues, and the biggest one is age. If your roof is more than 20 years old, there’s a good chance it’s due for replacement. But younger roofs can fail too, so it’s a good idea to inspect a roof at least once a year. Don’t use a ladder, though. Binoculars are easier and a lot safer, and you can spot most problems from the ground.

Here’s what to look for: numerous shingles that are lifting up, cracked or missing, with curled edges, or with smooth dark areas, which indicate that the protective granules have worn off. Also, go into the attic on a sunny day and, with the lights off, check the underside of the chimney and the stack vent. If you see little pinhole spots of light, the flashing is shot—another indication that the roofing might not be in good shape.

While you’re in the attic, scan the underside of the roof sheathing for any new signs of water staining since the last inspection, as well as any soft or moist spots, which tend to show up after a heavy rain. If these problems are widespread, it’s a sure sign that you need to call a roofer.

2. Q: A friend recently mentioned in passing he thought some of the “flashing” on my roof looked as if it were in rough shape. Can you explain exactly what roof flashing is?

—Britney, Fort Worth, Texas

A: Tom Silva replies: Flashing is just material—usually aluminum or galvanized steel—that’s used over joints in roof and wall construction to prevent water seeping in and causing damage. Depending on the style of your house’s roof, you probably have it in the valleys, around the chimney and pipes, and around any dormer windows or skylights. Most damage shows up either in flashing that’s deteriorating due to weathering and oxidizing, or in flashing that has come loose.

I can’t say for sure without seeing your roof, but most flashing problems can be patched or repaired fairly easily. Professional roofers typically cut and shape their own flashing from sheet metal, but the most common flashing pieces also come pre-formed and can be applied without much difficulty using caulking or roof cement.

A word of warning: Because of the danger involved, I never recommend people do work on roofs unless they are professionals or they’re used to being on roofs and are familiar with the one they’re working on. So if your flashing needs any significant repairs, consider hiring a contractor to do it for you.

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How long does a roof replacement take?

This is undoubtedly the most frequently asked question that all homeowners have when considering replacing a roof. 

The answer, however, is not a definitive one.

The best way to determine how long it will take to replace a roof is to ask the roofing contractor when they are giving you an estimate. 
It is important to realize that not every estimate is written in stone.

A roofer may estimate that a project may take two weeks to complete, but if there are conditions that arise that delay the work, it may take longer.
Sometimes bad weather is a factor that can interfere with work, so it’s always advisable to be flexible in your expectations and plan for roof replacement when the weather is good.

Roofers may discover that more work needs to be done than was originally included in the estimate. This may be due to structural damage that was revealed once they began the project. These types of circumstances could delay the replacement project as well.

The best course of action is to discuss the length of the project with the roofer and to get several estimates before choosing the roofing contractors for the job.

Compare the different lengths of time that each roofer provides. You should always feel comfortable with the time frame that the roofing contractor provides you with and make sure that you have enough time available to handle the project.

If a roofer tells you that they believe it would take two days to complete the roofing project, and you have plans to leave town the second day of the project, you may want to reschedule.

Give yourself plenty of time to complete the project in case there are emergencies, poor weather conditions or any additional work that must be completed.