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Roofing F.A.Q.

When should I replace my roof or does my roof need to be replaced?

Composition, or asphalt, shingles usually wear out in a discreet way. Granules start coming off leaving black patches showing. Shingles also start to curl at the ends. In general, some people think if a roof leaks they need to replace it. Unless it's an older roof, leaks can usually be repaired. With leaking in older roofs and/or if you roof has leaking in more than a few areas, this can mean trouble.

What will a new roof cost?

The price of a new roof varies widely, depending on the material selected, the contractor doing the work, the home itself, area of the country, local labor rates, and more. Keep in mind that cost is only one factor, and it must be balanced against the quality of the materials and workmanship. For each roofing material there are different grades- and corresponding prices. Plus, there are a variety of styles and shapes. You need to look at the full product range and make a choice based on your budget and needs. Within the roofing profession there are different levels of expertise and craftsmanship. Bosworth Roofing & Remodeling is committed to quality work.

Can I just do the work myself?

Most roofing work should not be a do-it-yourself project. Professional roofing contractors are trained to safely & efficiently repair or replace a roof. Do-it-yourself can harm a roof with improper roofing techniques and can harm themselves by falling through the roof or even falling off the roof. A do-it-yourself roofing project more often than not results in additional costs and headaches for the homeowner in the long run.

I installed a 30 year shingle on my roof. My roof won't need to be replaced for 30 years, right?

Unfortunately, that is not true. The manufacturer's warranty is a bit deceiving. The 30 year manufacturer warranty (or 25, 40, or lifetime) is against manufacturer's defects. Most new roof systems are designed to provide useful services ranging from 15, 20 even 25 years. Some roof system types such as slate and metal systems can last longer.

Actual roof system life span is determined by a number of factors, including local climactic and environmental conditions, proper building and roof system design, quality and suitability, proper application and adequate roof maintenance. Therefore, a 30 year shingle will most likely not last 30 years. We have seen 30 year shingles need to be replaced after 10 years due to severe climactic and environmental conditions. Roofing product manufacturers offer a variety of warranties on their products. Take a close look at those warranties to see what responsibilities and financial obligations manufacturers will assume if their products fail to reach their expected lives.

You can find CertainTeed's manufacturer's warranty information here, GAF's here, and Owens Corning's here.

What is your labor warranty?

Bosworth Roofing & Remodeling offers a comprehensive 5 year labor warranty package. It can be transferred 1 time if you sell your house within that 5 year period. It is a great selling feature!

How can I choose the right roofing contractor?

Be sure to get a detailed quote from your contractor. Just as important be sure to talk to people who have previously used your contractor. Ask if they had any complaints, if they cleaned up nicely, if they finished on time, kept to the contract, etc. Any roofing business relies on referrals, so find out what you can, and choose what suits you best. Click here to see our 8 steps to choosing a good contractor.

Do you have a supervisor on the job at all times?

Yes. We have 4 project supervisors and 1 project coordinator. A project supervisor is on your job at all times. Depending on the schedule and the needs of the project, the coordinator may come and go from your job. Either a supervisor or the coordinator is always available for any questions or concerns on the day of your job.

Should I have my old roof removed before the new one is installed?

Should you remove your current roof before installing another? Although the advantages to leaving your old shingles are obvious (cheaper, less labor, faster), unless the initial roof is a single, problem-free layer, you could be setting yourself up for trouble.

You should remove the old roof if any of the following are true:

  1. Inspection shows it is in bad shape—shingles are curled, mossy, split, etc.
  2. The decking is sagging, rotting or deteriorating.
  3. The new roof is of a lighter material than the original roof. If you put lightweight shingles over heavyweight shingles, all of the old bumps and ridges from the original roof will still show.
  4. Your roof already has more than one layer
  5. You live in a climate where ice dams are possible. (i.e., the average January temperature is below freezing) and the old roof has no ice or water protection membrane.
  6. Generally speaking, experts estimate that the life of your new roof will be cut by as much as 20% if it is installed on top of the existing roof.

How long does it take to replace a roof?

Replacing a roof, whether on a commercial or residential building, is a labor-intensive project and, depending on the type of roof, could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The time involved is substantially affected by the weather, as well. Wind, snow, rain, or even just the threat of one of these and will slow the process considerably. Also see Roofing Day - What to Expect.

What type of roof do I put on my house?

Whatever you think will look good on your home. Putting a roof on your home is not only an important financial decision, but it has an important aesthetic value for you home too. When you drive up to your home, you say to yourself "that's a nice looking roof." There are many different styles to choose from.

What is a 3-TAB shingle? An architectural (or dimensional) shingle? A designer shingle?

3-TAB shingles are the least expensive and most simple. They are single layer and give the roof a flat look.

Architectural shingles have an attractive appearance with a dimensional, more textured effect. They are heavier and thicker than 3-tab shingles, promoting longer life and extended durability.

There are a countless number of designer styles of shingles. Although these shingles may be a little more expensive, they also have increased value, beauty, protection, and longevity, and a more unusual and elaborate designs.

What should I do to prepare for my roofing day?

Please see "Roofing Day - What Should I Expect?"

What is an ENERGY STAR qualified roof product?

It is a reflective roof product that lowers roof surface temperature by up to 100°F, thereby decreasing the amount of heat transferred into a building's interior. ENERGY STAR qualified roof products save money and energy by reducing the amount of air conditioning needed to keep a building comfortable and are eligible for a tax rebate.

What shingle manufacturers do you install?

We have experience installing all of the top shingle manufacturers. The number one manufacturer in our area and our recommendation is CertainTeed. Over the years we have found that they have the best product and the best customer service. We also have had a good experience with GAF/ELK and have many happy Owens Corning customers. If you have a preference for a certain shingle manufacturer, we will install it for you.

What color should I choose?

The color of roofing material should blend with and compliment your home. It should not be the focal point though. Bosworth Roofing & Remodeling has brochures, color boards, shingle samples, and addresses of homes you can drive by to get a good sense of what color you would like for your roof. Visit our roof color picker to get started

Do you replace water damaged plywood or ledge board if you find it when old roofing is removed?

To meet code, any damaged wood needs to be replaced. When we find damaged material, we will let you know. We will show you the damaged wood, if you are available at the time, or phone you and show you pictures of the damages when you return. Our usual fee for removal of damaged plywood is $75.00 per sheet and damaged plywood is $45.00 per 8 ft board. Prices include labor and materials.

What are roofing underlayments?

A roofing underlayments are known as "felt paper" and "ice and water shield". These underlayments are installed under shingles to help prevent water penetration. Without self-adhered underlayments, water from wind-driven rain can infiltrate under your roof covering and severely damage your roof or even worse, the inside of your home. Roofing underlayments are not a 100% guarantee that you will not have water problems. For example, you may still get water problems from ice dams. In our area, felt paper and ice and water shield are required by code.

Why is wind-driven rain a problem?

Wind-driven rain can cause sloped roof coverings to shift and lift. Rain can then be easily driven under the roof covering directly to the unprotected roof deck, where it causes leaks and damage to the inside of the home.

Do my solar panels have to be removed to install the new roof?

Short answer, yes. Although there are rare exceptions to the rule, most solar panels are either bolted to or mounted on the existing roofing material and must be removed before a new roof can be installed. Because solar panels are charged using a type of antifreeze, they will have to be removed and reinstalled by a solar panel company who can insure that the job is accomplished properly.

My roof is dirty? Can I powerwash it?

NO! The high velocity of the water will strip the asphalt from your shingles. This will damage your shingles resulting in a shorted life expectancy. This will also void any labor or manufacturer warranties.

What can I do about mildew on my roof?

Most home improvement stores sell a mildew cleaner that can be applied to your roof with a sprayer. Mildew cleaners shouldn't damage your roof in any way.

Why is algae (or fungus) found on roofs?

In some moist areas, algae can grow on shingles. Although the algae has no proven effect on shingle life, however, it does stain or discolor the shingle. Commonly called fungus, this algae staining can be unattractive. If you are installing a new roof, you can choose an algae resistant shingle. The algae-containing stains can also be dramatically reduced by the use of special zinc strips.

What are the parts of the roof called?

Roof part names