Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Roofer


Hiring a roofing contractor is an important decision as your roof is a major piece of your home’s shelter and protection. Finding a contractor who completes the job properly without taking shortcuts is paramount. Here are some questions to ask during the interview process that will help you steer clear of roofers that might do a less than satisfactory job.

Do you use staples or nails? Always insist on nails. Stapled shingles are much more prone to being ripped off by high winds. Often, the shingles will come up in “sheets” exposing large sections of the plywood decking underneath. Nailed shingles, by contrast, are more wind resistant and will typically blow off singly or in very small groups. Also, be sure the contractor uses nails long enough to penetrate through the decking. This further decreases the odds of shingles being blown off. Finally, you want to insist that each shingle receives four nails

Do you tear off the old shingles? Although you can save some money by roofing over the existing shingles, it is not advisable. The extra weight of the new shingles stresses the structure of the roof and increases the likelihood of roof deformation over time. Additionally, removing the existing layer allows for inspection of the wooden decking underneath in order to replace rotten or damaged sections.

Do you use drip edge on all roof edges? Drip edge runs along the edge of the roof and is nailed underneath the shingles to prevent water from wicking up under the shingles and rotting the deck. Only the most negligent roofer would fail to install drip edge along gutters but many do not install on the slanting “rake” edge of a roof. Drip edge is extremely inexpensive and well worth the cost for the extra protection to your decking.

How many rows of snow and ice shield do you use? If you live in an area that freezes, you want to ensure your contractor uses two rows of snow and ice shield. While one row is typically sufficient, a particularly harsh winter can create ice dams large enough to push water under the shingles past the edge of a single row. Adding a second row may incur additional cost, but it is a wise investment to prevent your roof from rotting out over several years.

If your prospective contractor employs these methodologies, you are likely speaking with a roofer that performs good work and can be relied upon to take proper care of your home.


Source by Eric Parish