Roof Safety for Homeowners

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Should You Leave It To Roofing Professionals?

If you are asking yourself this question, then the answer is probably yes. It may seem like an easy thing to walk on a roof, but if you are not experienced with negotiating different pitches, and if there is any question at all about the roof’s ability to handle the weight you are adding, do not attempt to climb on your own roof.

Slipped Shingles:

Shingles that have slipped out of place or those that are loose will always pose a threat to your safety while on the roof. It is very easy to step on a loose shingle that will take your feet out from under you increasing the chance that you will slide off the roof. The older your roof is, the riskier it becomes.

Rotten Decking:

If your home has a roof leak that you see inside, your roof decking is already being damaged. As shingles are installed, the nails penetrate the wood. If water is added to that mix, the decking can deteriorate from the inside out. This leads to weak spots that can literally collapse as you step on them, causing a risk of falling, even death. Trained roofers know how to walk on a roof, testing their steps before they take them to ensure that the roof can handle the weight they are about to place on it.

Steep Roofing:

It takes special training to walk or negotiate steep roof planes and it is never a good idea for anyone without this training to attempt to walk on a steep roof. The fall risk is simply not worth anything you need to accomplish, and this should only be left to trained professionals.

If you are in doubt as to the safety of climbing onto your own roof, it is time to call a professional.


Contractor Insurance

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Check Insurance, Check Insurance, Check Insurance:

The importance of hiring an insured roofing contractor cannot be overstated. Our business is a dangerous one, and you need to be protected in the event of an injury or damage to your home or office if something goes really wrong. (My Company Name) is fully insured and maintains both liability insurance and workers comp insurance for your protection.

Uninsured Contractor Nightmare:

We constantly hear stories of the havoc wreaked by uninsured contractors. From burning down buildings to accidents that happen on the roof, the possibilities are endless. A properly insured contractor can help protect you from these issues and give you the peace of mind that you deserve.

Protect Yourself:

By checking the insurance of a potential contractor, you are weeding out the companies that are operating below-par and can save yourself many headaches in the future. An insured contractor is more likely to install your roofing properly because they care about doing things correctly. While the uninsured contractor may be able to offer a better price, you will get what you pay for.

Call The Insurance Company to Verify:

It’s a simple thing to do. Pick up the phone and place a quick call to the insurance company to ensure that your contractor’s insurance is in good standing. Unfortunately, an insurance certificate is an easy thing to forge, and it is more common than you may think. We encourage you to contact our insurance company to verify our coverage, and any legitimate contractor should do the same.


The Roofing Process

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The roofing process can seem like an arduous task, but we are here to walk you through every step to ensure that your roof is installed correctly the first time with the smallest impact on your home and daily routine.

Step One – Call Us Today:

The first step in this process is calling us so that we can stop by and take a look at your roof, gather measurements, talk to you about your goals and assess the complexity of your project. During our initial visit, we will be assessing the ease or difficulty of accessing the roof from all sides, the height and pitch of your roof, and will try to ascertain whether or not the roof has potentially unseen damage that will need to be remedied prior to re-roofing. All of these items and more will affect the final price, but we will be happy to explain everything in detail so that you know exactly what to expect.

Step Two – The Proposal:

We will write up a proposal that will include all of the information that you will need to understand the scope of work, the final price, and any extras that may be expected. This will include the brand, style, and color of any products that are needed for your job. We highly recommend that you ask as many questions as possible so that we can answer them prior to getting started. This will set you at ease and you will know exactly what to expect prior to the project commencement.

Step Three – Scheduling:

Once your contract is signed we will begin ordering the materials needed for your project. In some cases, we have them in stock, but due to the enormous variety of styles and colors, this is not always possible. We work with suppliers in our area to provide a large selection of products we offer. We will inform you as to the availability of the products you have selected and will devise an expected schedule based on that information. Once the materials are available, we will pick them up ourselves or have them delivered directly to your property. At this point, your project will be scheduled, but keep in mind that weather plays a large part in deciding when it is best to begin. We definitely do not tear off your old roof until the weather is clear enough to safely do so.

Step Four – Protect Everything:

Roofing your home can get messy during the process. We do our very best to protect your landscaping and other items surrounding your home from damage. Our goal is to provide you with exceptional service, and part of this is leaving your home better than we found it.

Step Five – Assessing Any Unseen Damage:

Once your old roof has been removed, we can now see the condition of the roof decking. Sagging or water-damaged pieces will need to be removed and replaced so that your new roof will perform properly and do so for the entire life expectancy. We will let you know a course of action once we can see if there is any damage, and any additional costs involved.

Step Six – Installing Your New Roof:

As every roof is different, your specific project parameters will be included in your quote. All roofing materials are installed according to manufacturer requirements and industry best practices to ensure that you get the most life out of your new roof. We never cut corners so that you know your roof is installed correctly the first time.

Step Seven – Clean Up:

Our goal is to always leave your property better than we found it. We will clear and remove any and all debris pertaining to your project so that you can immediately begin enjoying the beauty and functionality of your new roof.

How Long Does it Take?

Most residential roofing projects take one or two days, but some can take longer depending on your roof and accessibility. On our first visit, we will give you an approximation of the length of time it will take to complete your project. Now is the time to pick up the phone and put us to work for you. We look forward to speaking with you.


Hiring a Contractor

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Hiring A Contractor Can Be Complicated, But It’s Not Impossible:

When you are considering hiring a contractor, there are many things to look out for. By using some common sense and a little investigative know-how, you can avoid some of the issues common to most bad experiences. Within this article, we will provide many of the questions you need to ask, and some of the best moves to make to ensure that your experience is a good one.

Many states and local municipalities require contractors to be licensed. This typically means that they will take certain tests to prove that they have a working knowledge of the services they provide, and also the code requirements and other laws in your area.

Are You A Licensed Contractor?

If a license is required in your area, be sure that you find a contractor that is licensed, and that license is in good standing. You can check state or local authority websites to find out a lot about your potential contractor.

Do You Carry Insurance?

Most established contractors will carry insurance that will cover any accidental damage they may inflict on your property, as well as employees who may be working on your project. Many licensing agencies will require certain levels of insurance based on the projects they take on. A good contractor carries a current insurance policy that can be verified with a phone call to the agent.

How Long Have You Been In Business?

A general rule of thumb is that the longer a contractor has been in business, the better they are. But this is not always the case. Oftentimes a contractor who is just starting their business is a talented installer who decided to go out on their own. So while the length of time in business can be helpful, you will need to decide if you are comfortable with someone who is just starting out.

Do You Have References?

Past customer experiences are a great way to learn more about a contractor. If they have a long list of great testimonials, you are more likely to be happy with their services. If you are happy with the service you receive, take the time to write a testimonial for the contractor. They will greatly appreciate it.

Does The Contractor Have Online Reviews?

It is becoming much easier to find reviews of companies online, and roofing contractors are no exception. Doing a bit of research on a company in advance can save you a lot of headaches in the future.

Ask For Photos Of Past Projects:

Ask to see photos of past projects, whether they are on their website or simply on their phone. This is a great way to see what they have done in the past and to ensure that they have actually completed the projects they have undertaken.

The proposal that you receive from any contractor should be clear, easy to read, and define all of the work to be done. It should also be clear when payments are due, how much is owed. Keeping you informed is a big part of our job, but having everything in writing protects both parties.

Putting some thought into your decision in advance can save you a great deal of difficulty in the future. You should hire a company that meets your expectations and with whom you are comfortable.

Cheaper is not Better:

Contractors who offer a price that is substantially lower should be given a great deal of scrutiny. Make sure that they are going to be installing the same quality products, and doing it in the same way. Money is only saved by cutting corners, not carrying insurance or a license, and can often have a profound effect on the outcome of your project.


Service Area

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Our Local Service Area:

The service area shown below is a rough estimate of where we work, but we love to work on interesting projects, so don't hesitate to call even if you are outside our area. We will be happy to discuss your needs and do our best to help if we can.


FAQs

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“WHAT IS FELT PAPER?”
Felt paper is a rolled petroleum-based material designed to act as a moisture barrier between your roof and decking to prevent damage to your decking and shingles from excessive moisture.

“WHAT IS DRIP EDGE, AND RAKE EDGE?”
Drip edge is used on the eves’ edges, and rakes of your roof to let the water shed either into your gutters or of the side of your roof without letting it run directly on the siding. There is a ½ inch extension on the metal to let the water drip off of it as opposed to running down it.

Rake edge is used primarily on roof overs that have pre-existing drip edge installed the rake edge looks like the letter “l” and it helps to prevent the new roof from being installed to not extending too fast into the gutters to keep them working properly. On the eves it helps cosmetically to stop the roof from protruding out too much and looking like an extension.

“WHAT IS AN ICE GUARD”
Ice guard is a product designed to prevent ice that forms in the winter on the eves’ edges from penetrating onto the decking underneath the shingles, causing wood rot.

“WHAT IS STEP FLASHING”
Step flashing is an aluminum metal that is used to stop water from either getting behind siding or into chimneys and leaking into houses.

“WHAT IS COUNTER FLASHING”
Counter flashing is the metal that goes over the step flashing on either your chimney or bricked walls where the shingles meet the metal. It is installed into the mortar joint or actual brick itself and eliminates the water from getting behind the step flashing.

“WHAT IS A BOX VENT”
A box vent is a vent that is installed over a 6’x6” hole that is either pre-cut in your roof or needs to be cut in your roof near the peak. This helps the flow of air from your soffit vents to the peak of your roof. And helps prevent damage to your roof.

“WHAT IS A RIDGE VENT”
A ridge vent is a product that helps air escape from the peak of your roof. It is installed over a 2” swath that is cut on both sides of your ridgeline from gable end to gable end. This allows air to flow from your soffit vents to your ridge vents.

“WHAT IS WOOD SHAKE”
Wood shake is one of the original roofs installed in the early 50’s it was a treated wood shim shingle usually 3”-6” wide and 10”-18” long it was installed over space sheeting this was done to prevent the contractors from having to sheet the entire roof.

“WHAT IS LINING VALLEYS?”
We line the valleys of your home with an ice guard to prevent any water or moisture from penetrating the decking.

“WHAT IS A RIDGE CAP?”
A ridge cap is a specially cut shingle installed over the ridge of your home to prevent water from getting under the shingles nailed to your roof.

“WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DIMENSIONAL SHINGLE AND A 3 IN 1 TAB SHINGLE?”
A dimensional shingle is a solid one-piece shingle that has two no crotch lines or cut in the field of the shingle. A 3 in 1 tab is a shingle that has 3 tabs that are separated by a cut line to give it a tabbed effect.

“WHAT IS A SOIL PIPE COVER”
A soil pipe cove is a cover that goes over the plumbing pipe that penetrates your roof to vent the dangerous gasses from staying in your home the cover is usually 3”-4” in size and made of aluminum and has a rubber collar to make a watertight seal around the actual pipe.

“WHAT IS ICE DAMMING?”
An ice dam is the process of ice forming on the edges of a roof, preventing melting snow and ice from draining off a roof. The water that backs up behind the dam eventually can leak into the home and cause damage to insulation, ceilings, walls, and other areas of your home if not caught in time. Ice Dams are the result of poor insulation or aging roofs. The ice dam will grow as it is “fed” by the ongoing melting snow above it. If an ice dam forms it is important to remove the ice and snow from the roof as soon as possible, so there is minimal damage if any at all.


Shingle Roof Maintenance

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An Important Part Of Maximum Roof Life:

Shingle maintenance should be performed by an experienced contractor to ensure that your roof lasts as long as it should. There are a number of factors to consider such as damage by tree branches, wind, and hail.

Call Us For An Inspection:

We will look over your entire roof and devise a plan to maintain it in an economical way that makes sense for your needs. Paying special attention to the areas we know to fail prematurely gives us an advantage when designing a maintenance plan for your roof.

Popped Nails:

Occasionally, due to many factors, nails will back out of the decking below and puncture the shingles above. As water flows down the roof in a rainstorm, this leaves an opening that allows water to infiltrate the roof and run into your building. Regular roof maintenance can address these issues prior to a leak occurring and will prevent further damage to the decking, insulation, and sheetrock below.

Re-Sealing Penetrations:

The most common location for leaks on a shingle roof system is the penetrations. These are the vents and jacks that penetrate the shingle roof, but can also be things like ridge vents and skylights. During our inspection, we will be looking at these items very closely to ensure that the sealants have not broken down past the point of functioning and will recommend any necessary sealant repairs.


Roof Care & Maintenance

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Home Roof Maintenance And Care Tips For Keeping Your Roof Healthy:

To minimize roof-related issues, as a professional roofing contractor we recommend you inspect your roof components at least once per year. Examine the roof covering and assure its integrity. Is the flashing working and preventing water seepage? Is your roof’s drainage system designed well and free of debris so it carries water away from your home effectively? Look in your attic area for warped rafters, water damage or other signs of trouble. 4 Guys & A Roof can assist with your roof analysis when in doubt and help you decide if a roof repair and roof replacement are needed.


ROOF MAINTENANCE TIP #1 – KEEP WATER OFF OF YOUR ROOF
In order to maintain the integrity of your roof we recommend at least twice per year clean leaves, small branches, and other debris from gutters, downspouts, and downspout extensions to assure water is properly moved away from your roof and your home. Look for sagging gutters or otherwise damaged drain components and repair or replace them as needed to keep the drainage of your home system functioning properly.

ROOF MAINTENANCE TIP #2 – QUALITY MATERIALS ARE ESSENTIAL
With a roof, don’t be too cost conscience…it’s better to pay more for materials and quality workmanship. In the long run, you’ll save money and have fewer headaches from water damage and associated long-term roof repair costs.

ROOF MAINTENANCE TIP #3 – PROPER VENTILATION WILL EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR ROOF
Ventilation is the most critical factor in roof durability. Without ventilation in your roof, heat and moisture can cause rafters and sheathing to rot, shingles to buckle, and insulation to lose energy efficiency and overall effectiveness. Attic ventilation also increases the roofing material life span, reduces energy consumption – which saves you money, and enhances the comfort level of the rooms below the attic throughout all the seasons.

ROOF MAINTENANCE TIP #4 – INSULATION IS ALSO KEY
Another key component in proper attic ventilation is insulation. The ideal attic has a gap-free layer of insulation on the attic floor to protect the rooms below from heat gain or loss, and a vapor retarder under the insulation and next to the ceiling to stop moisture from rising into the attic which can cause ice damming in the winter. It is also important to have a good amount of open, vented spaces to allow air to pass freely with at least one inch between the insulation and the roof sheathing.


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