Most homeowners do not start thinking about their roof until it leaks. It’s understandable, but if your roof is already leaking, and you can see it inside your house – it means that it has been slowly leaking for a while, and the damage is probably more extensive than what you see.
We understand that roofing is not the most exciting topic. However, if you have problems with your roof, you will want to know as much as possible about how to fix them quickly and without breaking the bank.
This is just the place for homeowners to learn about roofing!
In this Roofing Guide for Homeowners you will find information on how to prevent and repair leaks, how to choose the longest lasting roofing materials, how much a new roof should cost, how to choose a contractor, and many other related topics. We separated this guide into three sections:
- Roof Leaks Prevention and Repair
- Choosing Roofing Materials and Hiring a Contractor
- Roofing Prices Guide
- Miscellaneous Roofing Articles for Homeowners
Roof Leaks Prevention and Repair
Roof repair – A timely roof inspection can help you prevent many leaks, when potential ones are found and fixed in time. Most leaks happen around some type of roof flashing (such as chimney / skylight flashing, roof to wall flashing, etc.) and where the roof changes its pitch – e.g. in valleys. The good news is that if your roof is leaking, most leak problems can be solved very inexpensively.
You can learn how to repair most common leaks yourself. In case you prefer to hire a roofer, learn exactly what that contractor needs to do so he does not overcharge you for things you do not need.
Ice Dam Prevention – ice dams can make almost any roof leak, and can cause many more hidden problems. Even if your roof has Ice & Water Shield (which often fails), as well as proper ventilation and adequate attic insulation, your roof is still not immune to ice dams, as we’ve seen this past winter, all across northern US and Canada. Learn how you can effectively prevent or stop ice dams from damaging your roof, the interior of your house, wall insulation and rotting wood in your roof and walls. Effective solutions include: adding / improving insulation, installing efficient roof ventilation, adding ice belts along roof eaves, or installing a permanent metal roof.
Hiring a roofing contractor to remove Ice Dams – when everyone in your neighborhood / town / state gets ice dams on their roofs, homeowners start sporadically calling every contractor in the yellow pages, and most are just too busy to get to you fast, while others do not do this type of work at all. Many contractors actually have no idea how to handle ice dams and will just hammer the hell out of ice dams to break the ice, while damaging your roof – they may do this by mistake or willingly (to get you to replace your roof sooner). This guide will walk you through the process of hiring the right roofing contractor for the job.
Low-slope roof leaks – so many roofs or roof sections have low slope, and incorrect roofing materials installed that leaks are just a matter of time. The most common example of a low slope residential roof is a shed dormer, on which you will often find asphalt shingles installed. While ALL asphalt shingles require a minimum roof pitch of 3 in 12″, most shed dormer roofs have a slope between 2 and 3 in 12″, which makes using asphalt shingles the wrong choice of material. Low slope roofs are also most prone to ice dam leaks, so you want to have the correct roofing system installed, to prevent any future leaks. Learn to choose the right materials for your low slope roof, and how to deal with leaks and ventilation issues.
Roofing Materials Guide for Homeowners and Commercial Building Owners / Property Managers
Roofing Materials – covers the most common roof types, and materials used on residential and commercial roofs. Learn about Asphalt Roofing Shingles – 3-tab and Architectural / Laminated shingles, Metal Roofing – standing seam, corrugated steel, architectural metal shingles, and Flat Roofing Materials – tar & gravel / built-up roofing, and single ply roofing membranes, such as EPDM rubber, TPO and PVC.
Metal Roofing Materials – an in-depth overview of all types of metal roofing systems, such as standing seam, corrugated steel, architectural metal shingles, stone-coated steel tiles and shingles, and specialty metals, such as copper, zinc and stainless steel. Learn which type of metal roof will work best for you, pros and cons of each type, and approximate installation costs.
Flat Roofing – discover which flat roofing materials will work best for you, and if you should invest your money in older tar and gravel / built-up flat roofing system, or chose modern, light weight and often energy efficient single ply membranes, such as PVC, TPO or EPDM black rubber (not a cool roof).
Specialty Roofing Materials – learn the ins and outs of rare and expensive roof types such as Slate, Clay and Concrete tiles and Cedar Shingles. Discover the installation specifics, adequate minimum roof pitch for each material type and how to find / choose a contractor (so called old timers), who specializes in the installation of these materials.
Roofing Prices Guide:
Free Roofing Estimates – get 3 quotes from local roofing contractors.
Roofing Calculator – a free tool that will help you get an instant price quote based on your roof dimensions and specifics. You can use this tool to compare quotes from different roofing contractors, or to just to get an idea of how much a roof will cost you, when it comes time to replace it.
Roofing Prices – learn how contractors price their work, what goes into the quote that you get from a contractor or a salesman, and why you always get different quotes. Roofing contractors use two different pricing methods. The first is a per square (100 sq. ft.) method, where the contractor measures your roof and uses pre-set roofing square price and adds a certain amount for additional work such as tear-off / plywood replacement, etc. The second is a Materials, Labor, Overhead and Profit (MLOP) method, which is often more accurate, but is rarely used. Also, you should keep in mind that contractors have different overhead and expenses, which are built into your prices. This guide will help you understand what you are paying for when buying a roof, and you will be able to identify contractors who might be scammers / unlicensed or uninsured, and make your decision accordingly.
Metal Roofing Prices – learn why a metal roof costs more than a typical asphalt shingles roof, how much each type of metal roofing system costs and why.
Why are metal roofs so “expensive”? – an in-depth look at the difference in roofing costs between asphalt shingles and metal roofs, and why metal cost so much more.
Flat Roofing Prices – discover the cost of installing different types of commercial and residential flat roofing systems, and price differences between EPDM Rubber, PVC, tar & gravel, modified bitumen and other types of built-up flat roofs.
Miscellaneous Roofing Articles for Homeowners
How to measure a roof – follow this simple roof measuring guide to figure out how big your roof is. You will be able to understand how much your contractor is charging you per square, as well as learn what they will do for that money.
Roof Types – understand the difference between the most common types of roofs, such as Gable, Hip, Shed, and Mansard. This guide will also explain additional installation specifics / difficulties, associated with each type of roof.
Roof Pitch – learn how to measure, calculate and use roof pitch when measuring a roof, and how contractors use it to determine their pricing.
Using Roof Pitch to select proper Roofing Materials – many roofing materials require a minimum roof pitch, and when you or your contractor uses incorrect materials (which happens very often), your roof begins to leak. You may end up replacing your otherwise perfectly good and NEW roof, just because roof pitch was not considered in the beginning. Don’t make this expensive mistake and choose the correct materials for your roof.
Roofing Square – in a few words it’s a 10×10′ roof area or 100 sq. ft., but there is much more to a roofing square that just that. Learn how roofers, architects and suppliers use a roofing square in measuring roof area and pricing materials, building costs and installation.
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