Your roof is much more than a bunch of shingles and tiles. It is a complicated system that needs regular inspections and maintenance to protect you from the elements.
Jim McClain and Robyn Charland of Canyon State Roofing, a Rosie on the House Certified Partner, share with us some things homeowners should know about their roofs.
Roofers supply, install, maintain, and repair your roofing system. Beginning with the selection process, Jim agrees with Rosie’s approach to selecting a contractor licensed by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC). Do your homework. Read reviews, and research the company. Better yet, talk to past clients.
Jim notes there is a common flaw involving the actual contract – ambiguity. Some aspects of a contract that need to be scrutinized include:
- The Scope of Work section needs to include a detailed description of the work to be performed and the materials used. The roofing product and the underlayment manufacturers and their respective warranties need to be detailed in the contract.
- Warranty details are important. Beyond the statutory requirement of two years for the roof, the materials have a warranty that extends well beyond that. Not all manufacturers are the same. If the material fails, some manufacturers will include labor for replacement (a huge benefit) as well as material replacement. Others include only material replacement, and some will prorate the wear on the material and only warranty to a certain level. The manufacturers and their warranties need to be spelled out specifically. The transferability of the warranty to someone who buys your home is another detail that needs to be included. Find out if this is expected or something the buyer needs to ask for. The detail of the work to be performed should include whether or not associated materials, such as flashings or roof pipe jacks, will be reused or new.
- Ask the contractor about follow-up inspections and whether they are included in the contract.
- Verify that the expiration dates of the policy are well beyond the date your project is due to be completed.
- Check the experience level of the contractor. A skilled asphalt shingle installer may not have the skill set needed for a metal roof.
- As always, be sure the contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured. Check with the ROC and get a certificate from their bonding company and the insurance company. We can’t stress this point enough.
Let’s talk about the products used on your roof.
We are not going to bore y’all with the hundreds of different products. We are focusing on some often overlooked details. New or replacement materials need to be chosen for their longevity and their aesthetics.
- The applications. Certain applications can require specific materials to be used. Flat or low slope roofs require different materials than tile or metal roofs.
- The products used must be compatible with each other.
- Underlayment. Most roofing systems begin with the underlayment. Jim is a big proponent of the updated asphalt-impregnated heavy-duty products. Usually, an underlayment of 40 to 50 pounds can be more effective than a synthetic underlayment. Jim notes the synthetic systems have been failing across the valley, particularly under tile roofs, due to the intense heat and sun of the desert.
- Again, have each product spelled out specifically, and ask about the warranty and compatibility.
Once your roof has been installed and the written warranties are provided, what comes next? Maintenance.
Jim and Robyn caution that you shouldn’t forget what is providing you with shelter. Your roof needs the attention only a good maintenance program can provide. There are maintenance programs for every type of roof. The goal is to discover issues that left unchecked, can exacerbate the deterioration of your roofing system. Some of those include:
- Blistering on flat roof surfaces. This is where the roofing material has separated from its substrate. That can be the underlayment of the roof structure itself. These can become breech points for water and critter infiltration and cause further damage if left unchecked.
- Broken or missing tiles. While unsightly, a broken or missing tile can also lead to other damage. Because this is a collection point for debris and an infiltration point for moisture, issues like this need attention.
- Missing asphalt shingles. Damage to this type of roofing system can be the result of wind, hail, and a careless repair person on your roof. Missing asphalt shingles are an even greater threat to moisture infiltration.
- Debris build-up on your roof prevents the gutters, scuppers, or other drainage systems from doing their work.
- Backed-up gutters can cause damage to the roof as well and cause leaks. Any roof inspection should include a good look at your guttering system.
A solid roofing contractor will typically offer a maintenance program designed for your roof as an addition to their roofing services. Having such a contract will spell out a standard interval of roof inspections (usually every two years), the items that will be inspected, and the repair work to be performed. Depending on the extent of the repairs, a proposal will be presented to address the issue.
As with any aspect of your house, home, castle, or cabin, starting with a sound contractor and good design, professional execution should be followed by paying attention to the maintenance of your home. This will help your home, and most importantly you, weather the storm.
CONTENT PARTNER: Canyon State Roofing & Consulting
Canyon State Roofing & Consulting is one of the only Phoenix Valley roofing companies to provide metal roofing services – and we pride ourselves on being the best Arizona provider. With over 20 years in business and a long list of happy customers, our company has earned an incredibly positive reputation among Phoenix Valley homeowners. Canyon State Roofing is an affordable roofing company, backed by airtight warranties, great customer service, quality craftsmanship & quality materials.
Keep that roof over your head in great shape with expert commentary from Jim McClain & Robyn Charland of Canyon State Roofing & Consulting. From the wood, underlay and choice of roofing materials for pitched and flat roofs, Jim’s 30 plus years of roofing pinpoints what makes a good roof last longer. They also help homeowners with their roofing issues.
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