When Choosing a Roofing Company, Ask These Questions

If you are considering having your roof replaced, you are wise to have several roofing companies provide you with inspections and quotes.  But what questions should you ask them to help you choose your roofer? 

What is your local phone number and address? If you end up with a roof emergency down the road, you want to know for sure the company you are dealing with is local.  Out-of-town companies might come to the city for work, but it might be hard to get them back.

How long have you been in business?  A company with a history and track record is a much safer bet than one just recently started.

Is  your roofing company licensed?  Companies operating in Alberta must have a valid Alberta contracting license.  Make sure the company you are considering is up to date with theirs.

Do you carry general liability insurance? Better to be safe than sorry.  If something goes wrong during a roof installation, such as a worker breaks a window, or welding work on the roof starts a fire, you need to know the company has liability insurance.  Not only that, they need to show you  a certificate covering your specific home.

Does your company have workman’s comp insurance?  Unfortunately, if a roofing company does not provide Workman's Compensation for their workers, and one is injured on the job at your home, you could be liable.  Also check to ensure the company has safety requirements such as harnesses for roofers.   

What is the warranty on my new roof?  Different roofing materials have different costs, and company warranties reflect those costs.  Better products have longer warrantees. Also, ask if the roofing company warrantees its workmanship.

These questions will cause red flags to surface, and help you choose the best roofer for your home and peace of mind.

Keystone Exteriors would sail through these interview questions.  Call us for a free roofing estimate. 

Signs You Need a New Roof

As a homeowner, you need to be aware of signs that you need a new roof, and not wait until you notice a leak in your bedroom ceiling.  Regular inspections will help you stay on top of your roof's condition.

To know when you need to repair or replace your roof, look for these signs:

1. Roof age

Do you have an asphalt shingle roof?  If so, experts agree  that your roof has a 20-25 year lifespan.  It is helpful to know if you only have one layer of shingles, if the roof has been replaced before, and if your roof has proper ventilation.  If your current roof was installed over another layer or layers of roof, and if it is more than 20 years old, you need a new roof.

2. Shingles curling, buckling, or missing

If you stand back and look at your roof slopes in direct sunlight, and see shingles curling, buckling, or have blown away in a Calgary chinook, or you are finding roof granules on your sidewalk,  your shingles aredue for replacement.  Or you may need a new roof.

3. Roof valleys

Roof valleys are also an important sign of your roof's health.  If you notice that there are shingles in this area which are falling apart or missing, you definitely need a new roof.  Because rain and snow flow through the valleys into your gutters, any places that are damaged could lead to roof leaks. 

5. Chimney flashing

Chimney flashing is extremely important to the integrity of your chimney and the rest of your roof.  Most flashing consists of roof cement or tar, and these wear out over time and need to be replaced.  You should consider replacing the flashing with a durable, water-tight,  metal flashing system. 

6. Shingle granules in the gutters

A roof problem can become a gutter problem.  Check your gutters for piles of shingle granules. Roof shingles shed more granules when they are aging out.  You might also see dark spots on your roof which might indicate that patches of granules have worn away, and it is time to replace your roof.

7. Take a walk on your roof

You can't really tell what is going on with your roof without taking a walk on it. If any part of your roof feels spongy or bouncy as you walk, chances are underlying water damage has weakened the decking.  You should also go into your attic to look for daylight, and to check your insulation for moisture. 

If you see any of these signs with your roof, give Keystone a call for an estimate on repairs or replacing your roof. 

Inspecting Inside the House for Signs of a Leaky Roof

Emergency Roof Repair

Now is the time to inspect inside your home for signs of a leaky roof. Although, this is also important to do after the next big rain, you should inspect the interior of the house to verify that you have not forgotten or overlooked any evident problems.  You are looking for signs of water damage or leaking, dark spots or trails.

Begin by thoroughly walking around the inside your home with the lights on and a flashlight and check your ceilings and walls for dis-coloration.  Don’t forget to check inside closets. You want to pay particular attention to inside the water heater closet, over tubs, sinks, your stove, furnace, etc.  These may have vent pipes that go out through the roof. The ventilation piping will have flashings sealed with mastic or tar which can be one of the most common sources for a roof leak.

Then check around the chimney – your chimney has a metal flashing.  Usually seals will need to be sealed every few years over the life of a roof.  Of course, skylights are a frequent leak source and sometimes it’s the skylight itself or it could be the skylight flashing that connects the skylight box, or curb, to the roof.  Skylights have a rubber gasket between the lens and the skylight frame and they often will last only 10 years.

If you have an open beam or cathedral ceiling area with exposed wood (meaning, you don’t have an attic or crawlspace over this room) often there is very little sign except faint drip lines unless you happen to catch the water dripping during the rain.  If you hold the light at the right angle you can usually see these.

Did you find any of these signs of a leaky roof? If so, call Keystone Exteriors now – before the rains start. You can get a free roof repair estimate.