Fixing or replacing a roof is a big deal. It requires an experienced team of workers and it disturbs your daily life as well as the lives of your neighbours, at least for a while. There are a lot of decisions to be made regarding the materials you use and the aesthetics of your home. As these repairs are only needed every couple of decades, you’re stuck with the decisions you make. The best thing to do is to conduct diligent research before you start with the actual work.
The repairs take only a couple of days to be completed, but obtaining the right permits and licenses can take much longer than that. Most local authorities require a building permit to be issued, so you need to find out what documents you are going to need and what any fees involved. Then there’s the matter of contract with the roofing company. It should define the work being done and the time it takes. Make sure the workers have insurance because accidents do happen.
Choosing the right materials depends on the location (i.e. weather) and the angle of your roof. Of course, personal taste is also important. Asphalt, wood shakes, and slate are the most popular options and all of them come with their own advantages and issues. Slate is the best looking with almost all home designs, but it’s slippery, so cleaning might be a problem later on. Shakes are the most expensive and need to be maintained regularly, but they are energy efficient and beautiful. Asphalt is cheap and easy to install, although it’s not very attractive – it looks kind of plain.
Doing a thorough job
Once you get everything ready and decide on the materials – find out what you’re paying for. The goal is for the roofing to be done in a way that guarantees you won’t need another repair for a while. Make sure that the contractors take care of bedding and pointing. Bedding is cement mortar that holds the tiles. It usually cracks due to rough weather. Pointing is the second layer on top of the bedding. Flexible pointing expands and contracts as the weather changes, making it more durable.
Layering and stripping
Those opting for asphalt shingles can choose between stripping the existing roof and putting on a new layer or just adding one on top. The latter option is less expensive and it will help with the electricity bill. However, you can only have up to 3 layers of shingles on one roof. The condition of the existing layer is also a factor. If it’s in bad shape, it’s better to remove it completely and start over.
Roof repairs can leave a lot of mess. Most of it includes the use of nails which you can easily lose track of in the garden. Make sure the contractors are obligated to clean the place up after they’re done. Most importantly, the workers should use a magnet to scoop up the nails from the entire yard. It’s a boring job and is sometimes overlooked. Insist on it since someone could get hurt even months after the work is done. Also, tar footprints aren’t dangerous, but they’re really hard to clean – it’s up to you to decide who’s going to do it.
Being informed and prepared can save you a decent amount of money and nerves, and help you negotiate with the contractors. Going through the specifics is also the only way to be sure you won’t have to worry about roofing anytime soon.