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Tips for Finding Quality Residential Roofing in Vancouver

So you’ve decided to have a new roof installed on your home. The biggest challenge you’ll face isn’t deciding what type of material will look best, or even what color tiles you want on your home. The most challenging obstacle you’ll face during the process is selecting which residential roofing contractor is best for your Vancouver home.

After all, your roof is one of the largest, most expensive home improvement projects you’ll ever take on. When done the right way, it can last for decades. You’ll be just as happy with your selection years from now as you are today. But if you trust a contractor who doesn’t provide top quality service, you might be facing problems soon after they drive away.

How do you know who to trust?

Finding residential roofing in Vancouver doesn’t have to be an impossible task. There are easy ways you can weed out the good guys from the bad. When you find a reputable contractor who delivers all that’s promised, you’ll know you got a great deal in the process.

What do you look for to ensure you’re getting what you paid for?

Start with Experience

This isn’t the time to trust a handyman who “knows a little about everything” and promises you he’ll figure it out as he goes. Your roof is as important as your foundation. If your roofing material isn’t installed correctly, you run the risk of putting your home and family in jeopardy. Experience is everything.

How do you determine how much experience your contractor has? Start with their website and learn a little about the company. Then look the contractor up on the State of Oregon Construction Contractor’s Board or Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Also, check the manufacturer’s website to see if they have been certified by the manufacturer. Experience only comes with time. The more roofs a contractor has installed, the greater the chance its employees will understand all the nuances that come with the installation.

Estimates

Pay attention to how a residential roofing contractor offers estimates. Most reputable companies will provide you with free estimates, but it’s good to ask or check the website before they come out and give a quote. Remember, an estimate is a chance for you to get to know the residential roofing contractor a little better before it works on your Vancouver home.

A roofing bid should include:

  • Full details on the project, including who is responsible for what and how payment terms will be handled
  • The full cost of the project, including who is responsible for obtaining permits
  • The cost of cleanup and removal of old roofing material and construction debris
  • Full description on all parts and materials used, including underlayment, flashing, shingles, and ventilation
  • Labor and material warranties
  • Proof of licensing, bonding, and liability insurance

Manufacturers Designations

A residential roofing contractor doesn’t create roofing materials from scratch. Instead, they install products from residential roofing manufacturers.

It takes a lot of work to be able to carry and install certain roofing products on your home. The contractor must pass certain minimum requirements to be certified and able to install the product. GAF, for example, offers a Master Elite Contractor certification to only certain contractors within a geographical location. When you see a contractor has this rating, such as Interstate Roofing does, you can rest assured they have ample experience and knowledge to handle the job.

Of course, every manufacturer has its own list of requirements. If you decide on a particular product, you may wish to do a little investigation yourself. Roofing product websites will provide you with a lot of information about both their product lines and what it takes to be certified to use their products. If you have any questions, a residential roofing contractor should also be happy to explain the process. When in doubt, ask questions. It’s the best way to determine how reputable your potential contractor really is.

Ask About Safety

One of the most difficult home improvement projects is installing a new roof. The contractor you select will be working outside in the elements and will often be two or three stories off the ground. A contractor without proper training or safety procedures in place is an accident waiting to happen.

Roofing manufacturers know this and offer a variety of in-house training programs to ensure the contractors they work with stay well trained and have the best safety skills to keep everyone on the job secure. At Interstate Roofing, CertainTeed is just one of the roofing materials we use. They offer a full training and learning center to not only keep contractors up-to-date on how to use their products, but to also help educate consumers on what to know about installing a roof.

If you have a question about anything, ask the contractor before you sign on the dotted line to ensure your project goes as smoothly as possible.

Don’t Give in to Pressure

When you’re ready to install residential roofing on your Vancouver home, we know that as ready as you are to make the decision, it still takes time to be assured you’re making the right choice. Don’t let anyone pressure you into making a quick decision. Roofing is something that, if done right, will last for decades. It will set the stage for curb appeal for years to come. Be sure you fully understand the process and are comfortable with your selection before you sign a contract.

A contractor who pressures you into quick decisions often has something to hide. They probably aren’t looking out for your best interests. They are often fly-by-night contractors looking to make a quick buck after a storm. Or they don’t have proper certification and aren’t being totally truthful about the work performance they offer.

Knowledge is power. Be sure you select the right materials for your home and that you’re happy with the color and style of shingle you’ll install on your home, but also that the contractor you choose to do the job will do it well. Not only will it impact the ambiance, but it will impact resale value too. Ask questions and make sure you can live with your decision for many years to come.

Will My Business Be Interrupted During Commercial Flat Roof Repair?

There’s only one thing that matters most to your business: customers. Without them, your business would fail.

That means your business has to be open during your scheduled hours.

It also means having a safe place for your customers and employees.

What happens when you’re in need of commercial flat roof repair?

As a business owner, you probably spend a lot of time fixated on the bottom line. It’s a natural part of doing business. Budgets are everything. And when an emergency happens that threatens to throw that budget out of whack, what’s a property manager to do?

Thanks to technology, the internet is only a click away. In just a few seconds, you can have a world of advice right at your fingertips. You can find millions of results telling you how to do the project yourself. You can find just as many results offering helpful solutions from supposedly reputable companies.

What advice do you trust?

And how will it impact your business during the process?

Do You Need a Repair or Replacement?

When you first discover you are in need of commercial flat roof repair, it’s usually something big. Maybe a leak is dripping through your ceiling and into an office. Or there’s an overflow from the roof down below and the damage is starting to build up.

Once the initial shock wears off, the next question that runs through your mind is the one we hear the most: repair or replace? And honestly, it’s impossible to answer that question without an evaluation of the current condition. Anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t giving you the best advice.

An experienced low slope roof contractor will tell you that the decision can only be made after a thorough inspection of all aspects of your flat roof. The following needs to be assessed:

  • Roofing Materials – Roofing Seams – Are they all sealed properly to not let moisture move down underneath
  • Roofing Flashings – Are they still connected to the membrane?

An investigation will show where the weaknesses are, what condition the materials are in, and your best options.

Fixing Leaks is Best for Business

The sooner you identify leaks and problem areas, the quicker commercial flat roof repair will have you back up and running to normal capacity. Typically we find that flat roofs have problems due to:

  • Damage caused by storms, and people/contractors accessing the roof
  • Failed flashing around the perimeter of your commercial building
  • Poor drainage
  • Bad workmanship in the original installation or in past repairs
  • A roof that has reached the end of its life

At the first sign of a leak, if you fix it the right way, it won’t cause problems in the short term. Those promises of “spraying” something on for a quick fix? Anytime you hear the term “quick fix” you should think twice.

The most cost-effective way to maintain a commercial flat roof is to handle each situation as quickly as it appears. That means never taking the current condition for granted. Regularly maintaining it will ensure the biggest of problems don’t happen unannounced.

What are the Biggest Risks?

The three biggest threats to commercial flat roofs here in the Pacific Northwest are moisture, biological growth, and wind.

Moisture
There’s no denying your roof has to be designed to drain away water. Just when you think the rains have moved on, it starts raining a little bit more. If your roof isn’t designed to carry away the moisture as it comes down and settles, problems will quickly arise.

Biological growth
There’s also the potential of biological growth when cold moisture from the winter months meets the warmth of a well-insulated building. This is the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and other damage to the roof structure or building materials. Proper installation and a regular maintenance cycle are key to ensuring a long life.

Wind
High winds can cause damage in a variety of ways. One good burst of energy can send loose fasteners flying, destroy weak flashing, or rip apart imperfect seals in seconds. And depending on where your commercial property is located, tree damage can increase the likelihood of further damage.

The Commercial Flat Roof Repair Process

Sometimes a simple repair is enough. If flashing is missing, securing new flashing in place may be all it takes.

In other cases, an entirely new roof is needed to protect your investment.

Once you know your options, together with your trusted commercial flat roof technician you can decide the right option for you.

Restoring your roof involves making whatever repairs necessary to bring it back to working condition. Sometimes that involves a protective flat roof coating applied directly to all roofing materials. This is an extremely effective way to give your roof its full-service life.

Other times it involves replacing a roof; tearing off the old one and installing a new. Consider this your last resort.

If you work with a commercial flat roof specialist, they can create a maintenance plan that works for you to keep your roof in good condition, to give your flat roof as full of a life as possible. Restorations are the best choice whenever possible because they are:

  • More cost effective – they cost much less than full roof replacement
  • Easier to complete – sometimes work can be finished in just a day or two
  • Energy efficient – if you haven’t had work done in a while, the newest coating may increase your energy efficiency, saving you money over time

What to Expect During the Process

With a reputable commercial flat roof repair company, you can expect:

An honest quote with no hidden charges. Be sure to ask about extra charges that aren’t in a quote, and how they are applied. If you don’t feel comfortable before you sign a contract, you’ll never be comfortable during the process.

A professional company from beginning to end. A reputable company cares about the business and works hard to keep customers happy. It’s licensed and insured to protect both you and the crew. The owners care about safety and work hard for your approval.

Full disclosure of the process. You’ll have an estimated timeline before the work starts. You’ll understand how it will impact your business from beginning to end.

Bottom line: if damage to your roof is a threat to anyone at your commercial location – employees, tenants, customers – your best course is to take action immediately.

A reputable commercial flat roof repair specialist will always think safety first and provide you with a job well done.