Contributed by Mike Holmes http://makeitright.ca/
It’s out there every day, for years — expanding, contracting, drying, cracking, deteriorating, and aging. Even if you have shingles with a 25-year guarantee, their lifespan can be reduced by climate, geography and roof design.
Signs of damage
• Torn, curled or missing shingles.
• Wear around chimneys and vent stacks.
• Excessive amounts of shingle granules in your gutters.
You might need a permit to re-roof. Don’t take anyone’s word for it. Call your local building authority. And while you’re at it, ask how many layers of shingles you can have. Two layers is usually the maximum. But I always recommend never having more than one layer.
Shingles are heavy. Extra layers put a big load on your roof’s structure. In fact, that guarantee on your shingles is often void if it’s placed on top of existing shingles. Also, read the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty. It often requires hanging onto the packaging wrap your shingles came in.
I would strip the roof down to the decking, replace any weak or rotten boards, add new water and ice shield over the entire roof — not just the roof edges — then replace with new, high-quality shingles.
It’s best to install shingles in warm weather because they get brittle in cold temperatures and can crack. But as long as it’s not below freezing, they can be installed year round. It makes more sense to repair the roof now rather than wait until spring — a lot of damage can happen over the winter.
When hiring a roofing contractor, ask the right questions:
1. Is your roofing team full-time staff or sub-contractors? Think about it — a good roofing company invests in their workers. They train them and keep them if they’re skilled.
2. Are they insured? Bonded? Licensed?
3. Do they offer a written guarantee on workmanship? It’s not the same thing as the guarantee on the shingles.
4. How long have they been in business? Did you check their references? (Or did you find a flyer in your mailbox?)
5. Do they promise a thorough site clean up? Do they lay down tarp to protect your landscaping and paths? How long will the job take? Will they protect your home with a tarp if the job takes more than one day?