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New Year – New Roof

January 3, 2018

We’ve all heard the mantra “new year, new you!” It’s a good thought, while different people would argue how to achieve that or what exactly it means, not many people would disagree with the idea. Now, what if you changed it to “new year, new roof!” I’m not talking about a total roof redo (most people probably don’t need that), but rather, a mindset shift of how you view your roof.

When someone talks about a “new you”, they are very rarely talking about undergoing an intensive plastic surgery to get a whole new face. More commonly, they are talking about getting rid of bad habits, spending more time taking care of themselves, learning new skills, etc… While it’s not exactly the same, these ideas are good ones when it comes to your roof. Too often people don’t think about their roofs until their roofs fail, be it leaking, not passing a home inspection, or something as drastic as caving in! If instead they a) got rid of bad roof “habits”, b) spent more time taking care of their roofs, and c) learned new roof “skills”, they could prevent those roof failures and prolong the life of their roof!

 

Don’t worry, I’ll explain what I mean!

 

  1. Get rid of bad roof “habits”.

    One of the most common bad habits people develop regarding their roof is assuming that if it’s not failing it’s thriving. I’ve heard more people than I can count say “If it’s not leaking, don’t fix it” or something along those lines. The problem with this bad thinking habit is that often times those major issues like leaking are the result of a smaller, more easily fixed problem that hasn’t been addressed. Wind damage, exposed nails, or rusted out flashings are just some of the smaller items that if unrepaired can lead to a larger issue. In order to prevent it though, you have to change your thinking from “it’s fine until it’s not” to “ensure it’s fine so that it stays that way.”

    Another common bad roofing habit is letting moss thrive. Whether it’s because you don’t realize how damaging moss can be or because you are too busy to schedule a cleaning, letting moss make its home on your roof can cut years off the life of your roof, cause leaks, and diminish your curb appeal drastically.

    The third roofing habit (though there are many more we don’t have time to address) is the habit of skimping. This is most often seen in the form of hiring someone purely because they are the cheapest option, instead of because they are the best option. Unfortunately there are many handyman’s and roofing companies that cut corners or provide temporary fixes while telling the homeowner owner it is a long term fix. They charge less, making the homeowner think they are getting a good deal, when in reality they are not truly fixing the roof and the homeowner will only find themselves with a much worse problem down the road. So while you think you are saving money you are really just setting yourself up for a bigger expense. Change this bad habit by being willing to invest in your roof (arguably one of the most important parts of your home) with both time and moneye. Research a company before you choose them, be willing to pay more for a company that is above board and knows what they are doing, and be willing to pay for preventative care and repairs now even if it’s not “a problem” yet. Believe me, your wallet and your roof will thank you!

  2. Spend more time taking care of your roof!

    You don’t have to get up on your roof with the loofah and lotion to take care of it. It can go a long way to take a few minutes every few months to visually inspect your roof. Look for moss growth, missing/lifting shingles, signs of moisture in the attic, or anything else that seems off. Doing this regularly will help you catch potential problems before they become major issues!

  3. “Learn new roof skills”!

    What I mean by this is don’t be stuck in what you know. Be willing to ask questions and listen to professionals about the best options for you roof. Just because you’ve heard something or always assumed something about your roof, doesn’t mean it’s right. Be willing to learn and change your thinking to best take care of your roof. For example, many older tile roofs have nothing in place to prevent ponding (a water build up issue that cause rotted eaves and leaking). Sometimes this is discovered because of leaking and sometimes a consultant looking at your roof will recommend installing anti-ponding before leaking happens. Just because it’s never been on your roof before doesn’t mean it’s not an essential and helpful addition to your roof.

 

Make one of your resolutions “a new year, a new roof”! You don’t have to do it alone, Northwest Roof Maintenance is here to help! Trying to drop bad roof habits? We can have a consultant out to tell you what your roof needs and how you can best care for it! Don’t have time to inspect your roof yourself or can’t safely see all of your roof from the ground? We provide free roof inspection of your home, one of our professional and trained consultants will take a look for you! Unless there’s leaking, you don’t even have to be home! Plus we are always happy to answer any questions you may have and help you better understand the how and why of upkeeping your roof!

 

Happy 2018 and enjoy your “new” roof!

Two Layers is too Many

January 24, 2017

asphalt-shingle-multiple-layersNot many people would argue with the idea that quality trumps quantity. Most roofers would agree that adding a second layer to your roof is NOT a good idea and cuts back on the quality of the roof. Yet we still run into homes with 2 or more layers on a fairly frequent basis. Why is this?

Unfortunately, many homeowners opt for adding a second layer of roofing because the immediate cost is much less than completely tearing off and replacing the existing roofing. What they don’t see, however, is the long term cost. While it may seem that two layers of roofing equals twice the protection, this is in no way true. Quantity does not equal quality. Here’s why:

 

A) Foregoing the cost of tearing off the old shingles means that you are also foregoing a chance to inspect the underlying materials. While shingles are the part of the roof we think about the most, a roof is not just made of shingles. Decking, underlayment, flashing, etc…all lie below the shingles and are just as important. When you fail to remove the shingles and inspect these materials when installing a new roof, you miss the opportunity to catch weak points. These weak points include rotting plywood, tears in the underlayment, or rusted flashing. All of which can cause unexpected, and costly damage. The longer they go unrepaired, the high the chance they will develop into leaks, cave ins or mold.

B) By adding a second layer it means that when leaks, soft spots, or other damage do occur, repair professionals have a difficult time finding and assessing what needs to be done. Part of the problem is that if water penetrates the first layer of roofing it may travel some distance before penetrating the second layer of roofing. So a leak in your living room may be originating at a weak point above your bedroom, but with a second layer it can be difficult to determine this. This difficulty in assessing needed repairs often means that either the company doing the repair will be unable to provide a warranty, or that your insurance will be unable to cover it. So if the original repair solves the area of the leak, but not the area of penetration, you may end up paying for multiple repairs out of pocket.

C) The third reason NOT to add a second lay is the weight factor. Roofs are only capable of holding so much weight, and adding a second layer of roofing materials pushes it that much closer to its threshold. While on an average day two layers of roofing may not be enough to cause your roof to collapse, in the event of heavy ice, snow, or debris, the extra weight of the second layer could very well be enough that you find yourself faced with a caved in roof. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will not cover this since they can put the blame on the extra weight and not on the elements themselves.

Multiple layers of roofingD) Finally, something to consider is sell ability. A time may come when you want to or need to sell your home. Per the reasons above, and more, a second layer of roofing materials is not a selling point to someone looking to purchase your home. In fact, depending on the building codes in your area, while you may be allowed to add a second layer per code while you own the home, you may not be able to pass inspection with a second layer. In many cases potential buyers either skip over the home altogether to avoid the hassle or demand the seller reduce the cost to cover a new roof.

 

 

So while it may seem like you are cutting costs by adding a second layer, make sure to take into account the long term costs. Be it unseen rotting plywood, difficulty assessing repair needs in the future, cave ins from too much weight, or trouble selling the home, in most cases a second layer doesn’t really save you anything in the long run!

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