Roofer installing composition shingles.

5 Common Roofing Questions Contractors Get Asked – And Their Answers

At Interstate Roofing, it is our job to help homeowners make the best decisions possible when they hire a roofing contractor. We’ve been in business since 1988, so we’ve been asked nearly every roofing question under the sun about repairs, materials, costs, and anything else you can imagine. Below are five of the most common roofing questions we’re asked and their answers!

1. How Can I Tell if I Need a New Roof or Roof Repair?

The first thing people want to know is whether they need a new roof in the first place. The answer is—it depends. The most obvious sign of trouble is a leak. If you’re experiencing a leak, you can be positive that you’ll need a repair at the very least. The longer you wait to repair a leak, the more likely your roof is to experience some kind of catastrophic damage, like rot, a partial cave-in, or collapse.

Another unmistakable sign that your roof may need to be repaired or replaced is any obvious sagging or damaged flashing. Flashing is the material, usually metal, that’s used to shore up the transitions of your roof, such as your chimney. Damaged flashing can cause leaks and other serious issues but is often relatively easy to repair. A sagging roof, however, is a serious sign of aged materials or previous leaks. If you notice a slight “u” shape where there was once a straight line, you should call an expert straight away.

There are more subtle signs that you may need to contact a roofing contractor. One of these signs could be the appearance of the shingles themselves. Are any shingles loose or missing? Are they curled, cracked, or blistered—or do they have strange dark spots? Are there exposed nails or other areas of extreme wear? If so, you may want to have a professional check out your roof to make sure everything looks safe.

Lastly, you may simply be up against time. Most roofs last about 20 years. When the materials begin to fail, you may experience discolored or missing shingles as described above.

2. If My Roof Is Leaking, Will I need to Purchase an Entirely New Roof?

It’s no secret that leaks are inconvenient and need to be addressed immediately. If they aren’t explained by a non-roof element such as damaged plumbing or a leaky HVAC system, then a leaky roof is a pretty good bet. A leak in your roof doesn’t always mean that you’ll need a new roof. Most leaks can be repaired by a competent roofer fairly quickly and at standard repair rates. Even if your roof does need to be replaced, a roofer can provide a temporary fix, sealing the leak to prevent further damage. That way, you’ll have some time to make the right decision for your home.

3. How Long Does It Take to Have a New Roof Installed?

No one likes having their routine interrupted with home construction and the noise and mess it can come with. The good news is that most roofing companies can install an asphalt shingle roof on a single-family home in one to three days. The larger the roof, of course, the longer it may take. A competent roofing company will do its best to perform the work quickly. It is smart, though, to get a time estimate along with any cost estimates you obtain from your roofer.

4. What’s the Best Roofing Material?

This question is not so easy to answer. The good news is that there are a variety of options when it comes to roofing materials, and many are great. The bad news is that you’ll need to decide what your priorities are for your new roof before you decide which material is best. For instance, if cost is the most important element of your decision, you may want to go with standard asphalt—which is also quite durable. If you’re more interested in going green, there are solar shingles available that can generate up to 1 kilowatt of energy for your home per 100 square feet.

If you’re dealing with extreme weather conditions, you may be interested in UV-reflecting materials, algae-resistant shingles, or another material that can withstand the elements. There are also designer options like aged-copper shingles that not only last a long time but will add a lot of beauty to your home, making it sure to stand out. Once you decide what’s most important, you can look for a contractor that has experience installing the materials you’ve chosen.

5. How Do I Find a Contractor I Can Trust?

If you’ve noticed some of the wear and tear mentioned above, it may be time to contact a professional roofer for an inspection and estimate. There are a lot of different companies and contractors out there, but you’ll want to be sure to ask the following questions:

Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?

Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but any legitimate roofing contractor should be able to provide you with their current insurance information.

Do you provide references from past clients?

While your roofer can give you all of the technical details, it’s extremely helpful to talk to past customers who can tell you how the company worked with them and whether there were any difficulties along the way and how they were handled. It will also help to look up reviews online to make sure your contractor has a good reputation.

Do you offer warranty and workmanship coverage?

A good contractor will understand that a new roof is a large investment that any reasonable person would want to protect. A solid, transferable warranty is the sign of a good company that is eager to back up its work.

We’re also asked, of course, how much a new roof might cost. As you can see from the variables above, it depends on the materials, the size of the roof, and many other factors. If you think you’re in the market for a new roof, or even a few simple repairs, feel free to contact Interstate Roofing for a free estimate.