Every homeowner would at some point require the service of a roofing company or a roofing contractor. Their services are needed when you want to install a roof in your house, and also to maintain your roof after installation. Asides from this, you’d also require the services of roof contractors when there is damage to your roof, or if there is something you need to fix in your roof. There a lot of reasons why you would need the services of a roofer. However, the difficult part about this is finding the right roofing company for the job. Apart from the experience and skill of the contractor, there are other factors you must consider before hiring just anyone. This article would cover everything you need to know about roofing, and the various things you should consider before contracting a roofing company.
What Is A Roof?
A roof is the uppermost part of a building. The roof isn’t just the shiny part that everyone gets to see, but it also includes the materials and constructions that are required to support the walls of the building. A roof serves various purposes for the building. Some of the functions of a roof include the following:
- A roof helps to protect against natural elements such as rain, snow, and sunlight.
- It helps in temperature regulation.
- Helps to save energy cost.
- It increases the aesthetic value of the building.
- It serves as a kind of envelope for the building.
- Some types of roof can be converted to a sports ground, such as tennis court. Flat roofs are the most suited for this.
- Energy generation: There are some types of roof that help to generate electrical energy. They are referred to as the photovoltaic This type of roof has solar panels installed on it, which converts light energy into electrical energy.
What Are the Design Elements of A Roof?
There are 3 main components of the design elements of a roof. They include the following:
- The material: Humans have been making roofs since man came to be. However, the materials used tend to get better as time progresses. In ancient times, people made use of materials such as palm leaves, banana leaves and so on. However, people now make use of materials such as copper, aluminum sheeting, pre-cast concrete. Ceramic tiles are one of the most commonly used roofing materials. Other popular ones include coal tar pitch, asphalt, EPDM rubber, PVC, TPO, wood shakes, wood shingles and many more.
- Construction: Some of the factors that determine the construction of a building are the method of support, how the underneath space is bridged, and lastly how the roof is pitched. The pitch of a roof is the angle at which the roof rises from its highest to lowest point. Most of the houses in the United States construct roofs that are pitched, except in very dry In addition, the use of drain pipes may remove the need to have pitch or slopes on roofs although a lot of people construct for other reasons such as tradition, and to improve the aesthetic of the building.
- Durability: The durability of a roof depends on a lot of factors. However, roofs have various Roofs that can last for up to 50 years, while there are others that last for 30, 10, 5 years and so on. There are a lot of factors involved in how long roofs last. Overall, it boils down to the type of materials used in the manufacture of the roof, and how well the roof is maintained. The durability of a roof is important, because of the accessibility problems of roofs. It’s also expensive to repair or replace them, which is why it’s best to fix roofs you’re sure would last for a long time, with proper maintenance.
Who to Hire For Your Roofing Job?
A lot of people find it confusing when they hear terms such as roofing contractors, roofing company or roofers. Although all these are a better option than hiring just a general contractor for your roofing job. There are some differences between these 3.
Who Is A Roofing Contractor?
Roofing is an individual that is licensed with the state as a contractor who specializes in roofing. Roofing contractors can take on various personas. A roofing contractor usually carries out the roofing job by himself, and might as well subcontract the job out to independent roofers. A roofing contractor can also be employed by another company. You should ask questions before hiring anyone, to know what exactly you’d be getting.
Who Is A Roofer?
A roofer in general terms can be referred to as an individual that works on roofs. This person could be a licensed contractor who works on roofs, an unlicensed contractor that also works on roofs or an individual employed by a roofing company. You should clarify when employing a roofer. It’s important you know if they are licensed or not. Other things you would need to include the following:
- If the roofer is licensed.
- Is the roofer licensed as a general contractor or as a roofing contractor?
- Do they work with a crew or they own a roofing company.
What Is A Roofing Company?
A roofing company is one that specializes in roofing aspect of construction. A company usually employs licensed roofers to carry out their job. A roofing company usually has some type of longevity in the industry. They are more likely to offer fairly substantial warranties and usually wouldn’t hire out jobs to people outside of their crew. Roofing companies are reliable because they do carry out background checks on their workers. However, you should know that a roofing company isn’t always the best choice for the job. You should still endeavor to carry out some research on which would be ideal, for the type of roofing job you want to carry out.
What To Consider When Thinking Of Contracting A Roofing Company?
The roof is the highest and outermost part of the house. It protects whatever it’s beneath it. This includes family and properties. The roof also keeps out natural elements such as rainfall, snow, ice, sunlight and so on. Asides from protection, the roof also acts as insulation, which helps to cut down the energy cost. Roofs have many more functions, which is why it’s important to hire the best contractor when you need to install roof, repair or replace your existing roof. Roofing is an expensive and labor-intensive process. In addition, it’s also dangerous. Roofing is regarded as the most dangerous aspect of home construction. This is why it’s important to hire a reliable, notable and effective roofing company whenever you need to do get a roofing job done. Below are some of the tips you should consider when looking to hire a roofing company:
- Permanent physical office: There a lot of people that disguise themselves as roof companies. These people tend to flood into places where there is a recent storm to offer their services. A lot of them are not professionals but are just opportunists that are looking for the next cash. Asides from this, they leave the community, as soon as they’re done with their job, to move to the next thing that brings money. You should never contract a roofing company that you cannot physically visit their office. One of the ways to eliminate these types of companies from your search list is by asking them where their physical address is, and pay them a visit. You should check if they have a full crew or just staff members. If they don’t have all these, you should consider moving on. It’s best to hire a roofing company that you can always go back to if there is any problem with your roof. Some reliable roof companies even come around to check the state of your roof, months after they’ve carried out an installation or repair job.
- Endeavor to get multiple quotations: It’s important you request for estimates from multiple roofing companies. Some companies have the habit of overcharging their clients, even before inspecting the project they are to carry out. You should endeavor to get estimates from at least 3 companies, then make a comparison between their estimates. This would give you an idea of what exactly you should be paying for the roofing job. Although, it’s understandable that reputable roofing companies tend to charge more than companies that are not as experienced or reputable. The difference shouldn’t be too large. It’s therefore important to compare the rating s of the company, and the price they’re charging.
- Past project: The main priority is to get a good job done, be it a new roof installation, or roof repair. What you’d be seeing every day is your roof and not the amount you paid for it. This is why it’s important to always demand a list of the past projects of the roofing company. You should contact their past clients, and put a call through to them. You should endeavor to go see the roofs physically. You shouldn’t hesitate to hire the roofing company, if you’re impressed with the job they did, and also if you get a good review from their past clients.
- Local roofing companies: One of the best ways of getting the best roofing company is by sourcing for one from your community. The chances of fraud or a poor-quality job are usually low. Endeavor to get a list of the roofing project the contractors have done in the past, and try to interview the owners of the project. Local companies are usually more familiar with the rules and regulations of the community as regards to roofing. In addition, they usually do have a relationship with roofing material suppliers and crew. Lastly, local roofing companies are most likely responsible for most of the roofing jobs in that community. Local roofing companies are usually invested in the community and tend to be more reliable from roofing companies, that are outside the community. These are some of the reasons why you should consider contracting local roofing companies.
- Who’d be working on your roof: Some roofing companies are fond of outsourcing their jobs to people outside their crew. These set of roofers, in some cases, might not even be licensed or skilled enough to carry out the job. This is why it’s important to ask upfront, who exactly would be working on your roof, and if they all have licenses.
- Insurance and license: This is one of the first things you should verify when looking to contract a roofing company. It’s important for a roofing company to have an insurance plan that would cover not only their employees but also your properties, in case of any damage. The insurance plan should cover the medical bills of the employees in case of accidents. Roofing is a dangerous job. Statistics have shown that more than 50 people die annually due to roofing related accidents. This does not include the number of roofers that have sustained various degrees of injuries. The insurance company would be the one to cover and compensate for any injury or damage to your property. With licensed roofers, you can be sure that they’d do a good job. Roofers have to pass multiple tests before they can be given their roofing license.
- Warranty: There is no other way for a roofing company to show how certain of their job than offering a warranty to their clients. The warranty should be extensive and also cover installation mistakes, defects on the roofing materials, and so on. The last thing you should be paying for is the mistake of the roofing company you contracted and paid fully.
- Hold your ground: There are some roof companies that would put pressure on homeowners to sign a contract, even before the insurance company has estimated the damage. Although some companies may say they can work with whatever the insurance company eventually settles upon, however, you must ensure you don’t settle for just any amount, but the right amount.
What Are the Types of Residential Roofs?
Choosing the best roofing company might not be an easy task; however, choosing the type of roof you want to install isn’t an easier task either. One of the reasons for this is that there are a lot of options, which makes picking just one difficult. Some of the common types of roofing systems include asphalt shingles, ceramic tiles, slate, wood, and metal. Below are some of the common types of residential roofs with their advantages and disadvantages:
- Asphalt shingles: Asphalt shingles are one of the most commonly used roofing systems in the United States. Some of the reasons why people prefer this type of roofing system are because they’re cheap relative to other common types of roofs, and are also easy to install.
- Other reasons why asphalt shingle is common with homeowners and roofing companies is because of its durability. The average lifespan of this type of roof is between 15 to 20 years, even with extreme temperature. They would last this long if they’re well maintained. Below are some of the advantages of asphalt shingles:
- They are durable
- They can be easily repaired
- They can make in various designs and colors.
- They do last for a long time if well maintained.
- They provide reliable waterproofing.
- They can be installed easily.
- They are resistant to extremes of temperature.
Although asphalt shingles have a lot of benefits, they also have some disadvantages. Some of them include the following:
- Dark asphalt shingles are prone to fading, and also tend to exhibit inconsistencies in color.
- Asphalt shingles are also prone to algae growth. You should endeavor to look for the algae-resistance They usually contain copper granules, which prevents their growth.
- Ceramic roofing tiles: Ceramic roofing tiles are ideal if what you want a lot of character in your home. Asides from having a lot of character, they’re also very durable. Ceramic roofing tiles are resistant to fading and are fireproof. They have a long lifespan and can last for up to 70 years. This type of roofing system is mostly used in homes that borrow elements from Spanish architecture. The tiles hang in parallel rows, overlapping to keep out rainwater. Some of the benefits of ceramic roofing tiles include the following:
- They are durable.
- They have a long lifespan: Ceramic roofing tiles can last for as long as 70 years, if well maintained.
- They are resistant to fire.
- Unlike asphalt shingles, they’re resistant to fading.
On the other hand, some of the disadvantages of ceramic roofing tiles include the following:
- They are not suitable for all types of climate.
- They are prone to erosion.
- Although ceramic roofing tiles are durable, they are also fragile. This makes them unsuitable for regions that experience a lot of hailstorms.
- They can be easily damaged by high winds.
- Walking on the roof can cause damages to it. This means that you’d require the service of professionals to inspect or carry out repair work on the roof, to prevent any further damages.
- Wood shakes: Wood shakes are a green-friendly roofing choice. They are mostly made from recycled woods or woods that are gotten in an environmentally sound way. Wood shakes roof has become more popular in recent years because these materials produce minimal impact on the quality of water runoff. They are durable and can last for up to 30 years, or more if well maintained. Wood shake roofs are a solid investment for homeowners. Some of the advantages of this type of roofing system include the following:
- They reflect traditional and modern design trends.
- They are durable.
- The woods can be recycled, and used for other purposes.
- They have a long lifespan if well maintained.
Some of the disadvantages of wood shales roofing system include the following:
- They are prone to algae growth.
- The woods are an excellent habitat for the growth of moss.
- The wood shingles are prone to damage.
- Cedar shake roofs: Cedar roof shakes are one of the most beautiful roofs you can ever come across.
However, asides from their aesthetics, they are also a natural insulator. This helps to reduce heating and to cool cost significantly. Some of the advantages of this type of roof include the following:
- They are a natural insulator.
- They are durable.
- They are a green-friendly roofing choice.
- They help to cut down energy cost. This includes the cost of heating and cooling.
- They add to the aesthetic value of the building.
Some of the disadvantages of cedar shake roofs include the following:
- They are difficult to install.
- They are more expensive than other common types of residential roofs, such as asphalt shingles.
- Photovoltaic solar panels: Solar panels have been gaining a lot of popularity in recent times, especially as people are looking for ways to
reduce their energy cost. Photovoltaic solar panels are the right path towards green and sustainable energy. A lot of homeowners are opting for this type of solar panels. They are usually installed on rooftops and are mostly made with glass, membrane and roof-mounted tile. The panels are able to absorb sunlight and convert it to electrical energy which can be used to power a building. Solar panel roofs are a great way to conserve energy and also cut down energy cost.
- Metal Roofing: Metal roofing is one of the oldest types of commercial roofing systems available. This can be suitability for almost any weather condition, and also their low price, relative to other types of roofing systems. Most metal roofs are made of materials such as aluminum, corrugated galvanized steel, tin and so on. Some of the features of this type of roof include their lightness. This makes it possible to install them on an existing roof. Other things can also be added to metal roofing after it has already been installed. Some of these things include waterproofing, rust protection, ultraviolet protection and so on. Some of the advantages of metal roofing include the following:
- They are low maintenance.
- They are lightweight and are environmentally friendly.
- It’s durable, especially when well installed and maintained.
- They can withstand natural elements such as snow and high winds.
- They help to cut down energy cost: They are good insulation materials and can help to reduce the cost of heating and cooling.
- Metal sheet can be produced from recycled materials.
- They can be painted, whenever they start losing their shine.
- It costs less to repaint a metal roof to replace it.
- Resistance to fire: It has proved that metal roofs are less prone to fire damage.
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