Ask questions before hiring roofing contractor - Select the one with the best qualifications - The Province, Sunday August 14th
August 15, 2011
When the time comes to time re-roof your home you should research your options carefully – this is a long-term investment that will affect the value of your home and your curb appeal. I cannot stress the importance of hiring a qualified roofing contractor. Asking the right questions is the key to selecting the right roofing contractor:
- Are they certified installers and covered under the warranty plan of the roofing product?
- Are they fully licensed in your area to perform roofing work?
- Are they adequately insured for your protection?
- Do they have a proven reputation for providing quality roofing?
- Do they treat the roof as an integrated system?
Roofing materials vary from the traditional three tab or strip shingles that have been around for many years, to architectural shingles, treated cedar, composite or metal roofs. When deciding which product to use, try to consider the overall style and look of your house that will fit in with the neighborhood as well. Ask your installer for locations where you can see the material actually used on a house. When selecting laminated fibreglass shingles pay attention to the quality, weight and the composition of the shingle. Good, Better, Best - Heavier weight and re-enforced shingles will perform better. It should be noted that replacing your cedar roof with new treated cedar shingles and converting to laminated fibreglass shingles are very similar in price.
Proper attic ventilation systems allow a continuous flow of outside air through the attic. Protecting the efficiency of the insulation and helping to lower temperatures in the living space. It consists of a balance between air intake (At your eaves or soffits) and air exhaust (at or near your roof ridge) Consider a minimum of at least 1 square foot of attic ventilation for every 200 square feet of attic space. Proper ventilation in the attic will reduce heat build-up, moisture and condensation, weather infiltration and ice dam build-up. Poor attic ventilation can ruin your insulation, destroy your shingles, and raise your energy bills.
When installing a new roof, it is always best to remove the existing roofing materials. This reduces excess weight, giving you the opportunity to properly examine the roof deck for defects or damages. It also allows installation of waterproofing underlayment.
Waterproofing underlayments (Ice and Water Shield) should always be used in valleys, on ridges, at eves and around chimneys and skylights. On low pitch roofs, the entire roof should be covered with Ice and Water Shield prior to installation of shingles. This will create a watertight seal that keeps water out at the most vulnerable areas of your roof (at the eaves and rakes, in valleys, around chimneys, etc.)
Pay attention to the manufacturers warranty. Warranties range from 20 years to lifetime. There are two types of coverage that you should ask your contractor about: coverage against material defects and coverage against workmanship errors. Look for warranties that cover materials and labour.
More to come next week. This article was published in The Province
newspaper, Sunday August 14th