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Having an asphalt roof installed or repaired is a significant investment and it usually involves time and money and a certain degree of expertise. While roofs don’t necessarily require constant maintenance or repair, it can become important if you live in a damp area with plenty of bad weather or if you haven’t been taking care of your roof for years and there are fungal growths beneath the shingles which can impact your health in a negative way. In addition, harsh winters with lots of freeze and thaw cycles can also wreak havoc on your shingles.
You can go about this task in two ways. You can either opt for doing the job yourself at home or hiring a professional and there are methods for doing both which are very important if you want to prevent leakages or unsightly appearance.
If you are going to tackle roofing yourself, keep in mind that it is possible that the shingles could have become loose due to lack of care or continued bad weather or the structure is in itself very old. You first need to establish a clean workspace where you have all your tools and materials at hand and it is wise to get a friend or someone to help you with this. You need to not be afraid of heights or ladders and have good vision and balance. Ideally, attempt this in warm or dry weather and in harsh daylight. You will need to tear off any old, fraying shingles and give the underlying surface a good clean so you have a smooth canvas to begin with.
Replacement might also be needed if low quality components were used in the first place and they have outrun their useful life. be sure that you establish a roof foundation so that material adheres to the surface. You can use anything from Shingle-Mate to Tiger Paw.
Use leak barriers first as another layer and this will make sure your new roof lasts longer and tolerates damp weather more effectively. Use starter shingles next, especially around the corners and edge of the roof which is where most of the water or snow or wind slides off. These starter strips further enhance the philosophy of applying layer after layer properly so that your roof not only looks better but is protected from a variety of problems.
If you simply nail the shingles on, they will soon begin to break or damage when exposed to the elements overtime. This process makes sure your shingles of choice whether they are tile, asphalt shingles, metal, wood, or sand stone last longer. Next comes choosing your shingles of choice and then using a nail gun to apply them in the direction of the slope of the roof. You may need to nail repeatedly at various angles (there are videos about this online) to ensure the shingles don’t simply slip off half way during the second layer.
Hiring a roofer, however, is one of the smartest things you can do for the longevity and beauty of your house as they are trained for this job and they also have considerable experience and that too with many materials. There are fraudulent and unethical companies out there so make sure you do the required research and check off the right things off your list. Hiring a good contractor is all about checking their qualifications, insurance cover and license. You can also find out about their past experience and what past clients have to say about them. In listings you will generally be able to find out even about complaints filed against the person. Making sure the contractor is fully versed on the latest roofing techniques is also going to save you time and disappointment.
Other things that are crucial when hiring a roofer are experience as well as references. On various sites such as the Better Business Bureau you can even obtain a list of references or the roofing contractor’s previous clients. Try to visit a couple of these people or email them to ask about their experience with the person. Listings will also reveal complaints if any have been filed against that particular contractor.
You should also brush up on your own knowledge regarding what you would like your roof to look like but in any case the contractor will provide you with insight about cost saving as well as longevity as far as materials are concerned. Before you decide on a person you can even have a few bids for the job as this will give you a good estimate of what the project will cost. When you are signing the contract make sure it includes after job tasks such as cleaning up. Make the most of the money you will spend by making sure the contractor has insurance cover.
Insurance coverage does nothing for you but it does mean that you will not have to pay for or be liable for any injuries that take place on your premises. The insurance cover usually extends to any subordinates or sub contractors that come to work on the project. Always keep a copy of the contract and feel free to ask any questions about costs you don’t understand or feel aren’t justified. Although private individuals do carry out this kind of work, it is often better to opt for hiring a company since it will have easily accessible records and a great deal of experience as well. Not to mention they can just run away with your money like a private contractor can.
Have a look into if your company of choice has an association with trade organizations or affiliations with other companies as this is usually a sign that they are doing well. Your roofing contractor may be the one ordering the material for your roof so make sure you ask him to obtain a warranty in case the material doesn’t turn out as expected.