With hurricane season upon us, you may be worried about your roof but don’t know exactly what tell-tale signs will alert you to problems. You also may be intimidated by the cost of a new roof. To help ease your anxiety, Westfall Roofing has some advice.
What should I look for to know if my roof needs replacing or repairing?
Shingled homes in the Tampa Bay area typically last between 15 and 20 years. Tile roofs typically last 15 to 30 years and metal lasts over 20, depending on the installation. However, some roofs reach the end of their useful life as early as 10 years after installation, which can happen with shoddy workmanship or defective materials. Several things affect your roof’s life, including shingle or underlayment type, workmanship, the architecture of the home, trees and shrubbery around the roof – even the direction your home faces can make a difference!
According to Westfall Roofing, some tell-tale signs your roof needs attention are exposed shingle nails, exposed fiberglass mat, granule loss, or if the shingles have lost their adhesive bond with one another. Non-shingle related signs include compromised plumbing boots, rusted roof penetrations, compromised low-sloped roof-to-wall transition areas and compromised roof vents.
What should I look for in a roofing contractor?
Westfall Roofing is one of roughly 1,300 roofing contractors in the Tampa Bay area. No matter who you choose, make sure the contractor has a valid Florida contractor’s license. A state- certified roofing contractor, by law, must have their license number visible on their signage. Roofing licenses always begin with “CCC,” followed by a series of numbers. The contractor needs to be familiar with local codes and processes. Next, check the contractor’s general liability and worker’s comprehensive insurance limits and coverages. Roofing contractor general liability insurance varies depending on the volume and special designations they may have with the manufacturer.
Also check the Better Business Bureau http://westflorida.bbb.org as well other online referrals services, such as Angie’s List. It doesn’t hurt to ask if the contractor has any special designations with the major shingle manufacturers. GAF, for example, has a small percentage of Master Elite contractors that have been vetted and approved as top, preferred contractors in the country. GAF Master Elite contractors must have their roofs inspected not only by local building departments, but by GAF (the manufacturer) as well. You can search for GAF Master Elite contractors at GAF.com. Westfall Roofing meets all these criteria.
Finally, Westfall roofing – and every reputable roofer –will offer a written estimate, product literature, and allow you time to compare the prices, materials and warranty.
What extra steps can I take to ensure my roof will better withstand a potential hurricane/storm?
Assess your roof’s condition once a year, checking for loose shingles, exposed nails, holes or soft spots, and fix anything you find immediately. Get tree debris off the roof while you’re inspecting, but never pressure wash a shingle roof. If you’re replacing your roof, call your homeowners insurance company to find out what discounts you’ll receive for the replacement; you can often get additional discounts by installing hurricane straps, a secondary moisture barrier, and 130 MPH wind-rated shingles.
Once your roof reaches the end of its useful life, you call a licensed, reputable contractor like Westfall Roofing to replace it, as such roofs may not withstand a major storm.
Only certified home inspectors or licensed building contractors (not roofing contractors alone) can perform a wind mitigation inspection, so be sure to ask if one is included with a roof replacement. Otherwise, these inspections can be performed typically for a fee between $75 to $125.
It is always better to replace your roof sooner than later due to additional unforeseen wood costs that can occur during a roof replacement. Typically, roofs 15 years and younger do not have any plywood damage, but once roofs reach the 20-year mark, they can have a significant amount of wood damage. Westfall Roofing hopes you choose them to replace or repair your roof, but whomever you choose, they encourage you to ask about any additional costs or possible costs. While no roofer can predict what they’ll find once they start a repair, a reputable roofer –such as Westfall Roofing –will gladly tell you what to expect in terms of pricing.