12 Most Common Roofing Questions

There are many common questions when it comes to a new roof in Winnipeg, and these questions need to be answered so that property owners can maintain a solid roof that protects the interior of the building. If you have a leak or any other roof issue then it may be time to consider a new roof. Some of the most common questions that you may have include:

1. Do I Really Need a New Roof?

New roof needed?One of the first questions that comes to mind when you notice any roof issues is whether you will need a new roof or if it is possible to just repair the existing roofing system. Even a minor leak can be an indication of big problems under the surface because moisture has been allowed in and this can mean hidden damage and the potential for mold and mildew. Look for any shingles which are curled, warped, cracked, broken, or missing.

Check for any breaks in flashing around your roof, and for loose seams or excessive shingle granules that accumulate in your gutters. Signs of leaking inside your home may also mean it could be time for a new roof. Any roof that is 20 years old should be replaced due to aging. If you have a leak caused by loose or broken flashing, or there is damage to only a small roof section, then repairing your roof may be possible instead of replacing the entire roof system.

2. Is This Something I can do Myself or Will I Need a Contractor or Roofing Company?

Many home repairs and improvements can be managed by someone handy who is willing to try the do it yourself approach, but this is never recommended when it comes to installing a new roof unless you have experience with this type of project. A new roof is usually a job that is best left to the professionals so that you get the best possible results. Every roofing material type and manufacturer may have a different warranty offered. Many roofing material manufacturers only offer a warranty of the product is installed by a professional and the DIY approach could void any warranty.

3. How Long Should My New Roof Last?

On average a new roofing system should last for 20 years or more, and some roof types and materials can last considerably longer when they are properly maintained. Some types of roofing may be warrantied for 30 years or longer, while others may only be covered for 10 years or 15 years. Before you decide on a specific roof product make sure you understand the warranty offered as well as all of the other important details. The actual lifespan of your roof will depend on the materials used, whether these are properly installed, environmental conditions, proper maintenance and repair, and even the roof design involved.

4. How Much Will a New Roof Cost Me?

The price of a new roof can vary widely because it is dependent on many different factors and variables. These factors can include:

•    The slope of the roof
•    The roofing materials desired, and the grades of these materials chosen
•    The actual size of the roof
•    The location of the building
•    Whether the structure is a home or commercial property
•    The time of year when the work will be performed
•    The average labor rates in your area
•    Any additional work needed, such as roof deck replacement
•    The experience and skill of the contractor chosen

New roofs usually start at around $6,000-$10,000, and they can go up from there. Make sure that you get a few bids from different contractors in your area to compare.

roofing cost winnipeg

5. Should I Tear Off or Install Over the Existing Roof?

If you need a new roof then you have two options: you can tear off the existing roof before installing the new roof system or you can install the new roofing products on top of the existing roof layer. An install over costs less, it can be finished faster, and less labor is required, but this is not usually the best method to use. In addition most areas have building codes that do not allow more than two layers of roofing on any structure and this factor needs to be considered before you make this decision. If you have missing, cracked, broken, warped, or curling shingles then a tear off should be performed, and this may also be necessary if you have any rot or deterioration in the roof deck.

6. How can I Pick the Right Roofing Contractor?

Whether you need a completely new roof or you just need some roofing repairs choosing the right contractor is very important. What should you look for though? How can you tell a good roofing contractor from a bad one? Some things to look for and ask about include:

•    References from past clients- Any roofing contractor who has been in business for some time should be able to provide references from past clients. Many will even offer photos from past jobs to show their skill and the quality of their work. If a contractor can not provide references then this may indicate they are not the right person for the job.
•    Experience- You don’t want to trust your roof, one of the most important structures of yoru home, to just anyone. You need a contractor who has many years of experience in the roofing industry and who knows what they are doing.
•    Price- Cost is just one of many important factors when it comes to choosing the right roofing contractor, but it is still a factor that needs to be considered. Just keep in mind that a contractor who has been in the business longer and who has more experience will charge a higher price but also provide superior results in many cases.
•    The contract- A good roofing contractor will have a standard contract that covers even the smallest details, and that outlines every possible eventuality. This contract will spell out who is responsible if the new roof leaks and causes damage to the interior, what material grades and prices will apply, and even whether any additional work such as repairing any roof deck damage or installing new flashing will be performed.
•    The materials used- Every roofing contractor will have specific materials that they prefer and have experience with. Make sure that these materials are the same as the materials that you want for your new roof.
•    Any Warranties or Guarantees- Each roofing professional may or may not offer a guarantee or warranty for their workmanship, and this is usually on top of any warranty offered by the material manufacturer. Be wary with any roofing contractor who is not willing to stand behind their workmanship.

7. How Long Will it Take to Install my New Roof?

Installing a new roof can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks or even longer. The size of your roof and the complexity of the structure, the season and weather during the project, whether it is a tear off or you are installing the new roof over the existing one, the size of the crew that your roofing contractor has, and even whether any unforeseen problems or damage is discovered. When you choose a roofing contractor they should be able to give you an estimated timeline, and your contract should include an estimated completion date. Some contracts may include a penalty if the work is not completed by the project deadline.

8. Should a New Roof be Installed in Cold Weather?

As we all know Winnipeg has cold winters! Luckily, a new roof can be installed in most types of weather, and asphalt shingles do not have any specific guidelines when it comes to the required installation temperatures. Many roofing contractors can install asphalt shingles even in cold weather as long as they take certain precautions. When maintained at colder temperatures asphalt shingles can become very brittle, leading to breakage if care is not used. Storing these products in a warm temperature and then transferring just a few bundles to the roof at any time can help minimize any brittleness and breakage.

Another issue involved when installing asphalt shingles in cold weather is sealing, because the self sealing strips may not adhere properly due to the colder weather. In cold weather and windy conditions the contractor should use hand tabbing, applying adhesive to the shingle undersides in quarter size amounts so that the shingles seal together properly. When the weather warms up the self sealing strips will set as intended, and the added adhesive holds the product in place until then.

9. What is the Best Roof System for a Flat Roof?

The best roof system for a flat roof is the system that will work best with the specific structure, budget, location, environment and climate, and other factors. There is no one single flat roof system that will be best in every single situation. Contact roofing contractors in your area to find out which system for flat roofs will be best for your home or commercial property.

10. Can a New Roof Prevent Ice Dams?

ice dam winnipegIce dams are often a fact of life if you live in an area where snow, ice, and cold temperatures are the norm during the winter months. There are some steps that you can take to prevent ice dams when you have a new roof installed though. More insulation, better ventilation, and making sure that everything is sealed so the roof underside is not exposed to any warm air leaks. Some steps that you can take to prevent ice dams include:

•    Ventilating the eaves and ridge with ridge vents, soffit vents, and baffles.
•    Use weatherstripped caps to cap the attic hutch.
•    Exhaust all ducts to the outside.
•    Add insulation in the walls, attic, and other places where it could be beneficial.
•    Seal can light installation
•    Install chimney flashing
•    Seal off and insulate all ducts
•    Caulk any penetrations and seal around all vent pipes and electrical cables.

11. What Type of Roofing Material Should I Use?

The right roofing material choice for your home or commercial building will depend on many different factors and considerations. The best material for a flat roof may not work on a roof with a steep pitch. Your budget needs to be considered so that you get quality materials without spending more than you can afford. Any warranty on the product should be compared because it may make more sense to spend a little more if you get better quality and an extra 5-10 year warranty as a result. Your contractor will also have certain material preferences that they choose to work with, and most roofing materials come in various grades that will go up in cost.

12. What Should I do to Prepare for the New Roof Installation?

Installing a new roof is a process that involves a lot of noise and a considerable amount of mess. Your roofing contractor should provide any specific advice about what they need you to do before they start the roofing project, and there are also some general guidelines that can be helpful as well. Many contractors advise you to remove pictures from the walls, and to make sure any item that you want to protect is tucked securely away so it can not be broken. The professional roofer should cover areas with tarp and clean up any debris from the new roof installation. You should also make sure that any vehicles are parked on the street or out of the way so that the roofing company can bring in refuse removal trucks.