The roof is the most important part of your house. It’s no accident that people talk about “having a roof over one’s head,” when they talk about buying a house!
But people can also get very nervous when they start trying to deal with their roof. So we roofing professionals hear a lot of the same questions and concerns every day. We thought we’d share these common questions and concerns here, so that we could walk you through them one by one.
After all, we want you to feel confident and well-informed about your roof!
What is the difference in cost between a metal roof and a composition shingles roof?
We won’t flinch from the truth. Metal roofing costs far more than a composite shingles roof. A metal roof will cost anywhere from $350 to $1100 per square foot, whereas a composite shingles roof will generally only cost $120 to $140 per square foot.
But as we explained in this blog post, metal roofing comes with some significant benefits that can make it a better value than composite shingles roofing. Metal roofs last longer, need less maintenance, and are energy efficient. Thus, choosing to invest in a metal roof now might just help you save a great deal of money later.
Metal roofing may not be right for every homeowner, but we encourage you not to dismiss it out of hand based on the price alone.
How soon can you get to our estimate?
In general, we are able to make an estimate approximately 24 to 48 hours after you call to set up an estimation appointment.
How much will it cost to repair our roof?
Unfortunately, there’s no quick and easy way to answer this question. Purchasing a new roof or a roof repair isn’t like purchasing a couch, which is why we don’t just list a fixed price list online.
The cost of your roof repair will depend on a number of factors. The size and slope of your roof will play a role in the repair cost. As you’ve already seen, roofing material plays a big role too.
We also would need to look at the extent of the existing damage. Some damage can be repaired by replacing a few shingles. Other damage can’t be repaired unless you replace the whole roof. Damage to other structures, such as your chimney, can also have an impact on price.
You can’t really get anywhere by trying to speculate. It’s best to just call us for an estimate so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Fortunately, many roof repairs are covered by insurance, and you can hand our estimate to an insurance assessor. Ultimately, the specific price might be the insurance company’s problem, not yours.
How much will it cost to get a brand new roof?
Again, it depends. The size of your roof, the slope of your roof, and your chosen roofing materials will all play a role in the cost. Your best bet will always be to call us for an estimate.
Do you take credit cards?
Absolutely! Many people choose to pay for their roof repair or replacement this way.
What’s the difference between 3-tab shingles and dimensional shingles?
You’re probably familiar with 3-tab shingles, because they’re the “default” roofing material. A 3 tab shingle just contains a flat layer over a thinner base mat. You can certainly opt for them—they aren’t on thousands of roofs because they don’t work, after all.
However, there are some real advantages to choosing dimensional shingles instead. A dimensional shingle places multiple layers of material over a thicker mat. This creates a three-dimensional look which really contributes to your overall curb appeal. How? The three-dimensional shingles do a better job of hiding imperfections, and they give your home a more textured, high-quality appearance overall.
Appearance isn’t the only reason to consider dimensional shingles, however. They’re actually better shingles. They last much longer than 3-tab shingles. A 3-tab shingle roof lasts about 20 years. A dimensional shingle roof can last up to 30 years. They’re also rated for winds of up to 120 miles per hour. This is important here in Austin, since we regularly experience severe thunderstorms that generate high winds.
What kind of attic ventilation should I use?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. There are a lot of different ways to handle attic ventilation, and different methods are better for different roof sizes and shapes.
With that being said, ridge vents are very effective, so long as your horizontal roof ridge is long enough to support them. This is because ridge vents don’t have any moving (breakable) parts to worry about. Ridge vents are also capable of ventilating the entire underside of your roof, which means you’ll always get enough airflow to protect your home.
But don’t worry if your horizontal roof ridge just isn’t long enough. Mostly, you want to be sure that the system you choose has equal intake and exhaust capabilities. Any other kind of system is ineffective, and ineffective attic ventilation can cause all kinds of problems. You also want to be sure that you’re not trying to mix-and-match various ventilation methods. You actually short-circuit the effectiveness of your roof vents when you do this, reducing the overall air flow even though you’ve added more vents!
They told me my roof was a 20 year roof. Why did it wear out after 15 years?
Keep in mind that saying, “You have a 20 year warranty on this roof” or “this roof typically lasts about 20 years,” is not the same as saying “your roof will last for 20 years.” There are plenty of variables that impact the lifespan of any roof.
For example, failing to maintain the roof well enough can certainly lower the lifespan of that roof. Moss or algae can be devastating to a roof, and many people don’t even notice it until the damage is already being done.
Poor maintenance isn’t the only problem that can reduce a roof’s lifespan, however. Simple exposure to the elements, such as harsh weather or UV rays, can easily take its toll.
The original workmanship on the roof can also play a role. Not all roofers are created equal, and some just don’t do a very good job installing the roof! Workmanship plays an especially big role when it comes to attic ventilation. If the roof isn’t ventilated well enough the roof can start to sag and deteriorate. Sadly, you, as the homeowner, aren’t necessarily going to be expert enough to catch this problem until the visible damage is done. You shouldn’t be expected to—you need a roofer who is going to treat you right and do it the first time. The same goes for misplaced flashing, which impacts your roof’s ability to shed water.
Finally, the roofing material makes a big difference. A dimensional shingle will last longer than a 3-tab shingle, and a metal roof will last longer than both of them. But this isn’t just about choosing the “best” roofing material. It’s about choosing the best roofing material for your home. The slope of your roof can have an impact on how well different materials perform, which is why it’s so vital to consult roofing experts before making decisions about materials.
How many days will it take to replace my roof?
Often, it will take 1 to 2 days, weather permitting. Please keep in mind that we need clear, dry weather to do our work, and Mother Nature has been known to put a dent in our plans before! Weather can stretch out the project considerably, so be prepared.
Larger roofs will of course take longer: work usually proceeds at a rate of roughly 1500 square feet per day.
My roof is leaking. Should I replace it?
A leak does not always require a full roof replacement. Sometimes, the issue isn’t even the roof itself! “Roof leaks” are often caused by problems with the flashing, and fixing that is far less expensive and time consuming than replacing the entire roof.
Replacement isn’t always the answer even when the roof has the problem. Sometimes we just need to re-shingle a small portion of your roof. That’s good news for you!
We just can’t tell you what your specific situation will require until we come out and give you an estimate. We have to find the leak first. We have to figure out the cause of the leak and assess the extent of the damage. That’s the only way we can make a good recommendation for your home.
How do you know your roof needs to be replaced?
There are a lot of signs. These include:
- Curling shingles
- Blistered shingles
- Your roof is buckling
- Your roof is sagging
- You see granules in your gutter
As mentioned above, a leaking roof or water stains on your ceiling are also sometimes a sign of a roof in need of replacement, but not always.
The central question is always the same: can the roof continue to shed water effectively enough to do its job?
Should we use 15# or 30# felt underlayment?
Felt underlayment adds some additional water resistance to your roof. Thicker underlayment means that you get better water protection and a longer lifespan for your roof. We won’t usually rip out any underlayment that is already there (it’s neither necessary nor cost effective) but if we’re building a brand new roof from the ground up we’ll usually recommend 30# underlayment.
Where is my roof most likely to leak?
Most roof leaks aren’t roof leaks at all. They’re problems with the flashing. So you could say that the roof is most likely to leak anywhere that flashing can be found.
Other than that, the location of a roof leak is not very easy to predict. In fact, finding leaks can be one of the biggest challenges in roof repair, since the leak rarely appears indoors at the same spot as its origin point outdoors.
What is roof flashing, anyway?
Roof flashing is a piece of aluminum or galvanized steel which is placed over each roof joint. This apparatus keeps water from seeping in through these joints. If you happen to have a chimney you might easily step outside and pick out the rim of metal around the entire thing. That’s flashing!
What are all these black stains on my roof?
You’re looking at dead roof algae. You probably have live roof algae, too. Algae are incredibly destructive. They literally eat asphalt roof shingles for breakfast! It’s important to take steps to remove this stuff right away.
Is it necessary to remove all of the felt underlayment when replacing or repairing a roof?
Roofing felt creates an additional layer of water resistance, but it’s usually not necessary to pull it up and replace it when you replace the roof. Doing so would just increase the length of time that it takes to fix the roof, and it’s going to increase your expenses, too. The old felt has holes in it because roofing nails punctured it the last time your roof was put on. Nails will puncture any new felt, too. The roofing material on top of the felt is going to play a much bigger role in determining the efficacy and lifespan of your new roof.
What should you do when your insurance company will only pay for half of your roof replacement?
We understand that this is really frustrating and stressful. However, this may not be a problem to begin with. We may only need to repair a portion of your roof, after all.
Our estimate can also help you navigate the claims process. There is paperwork we can submit to the insurance company which might help if you really do need a full roof replacement. However, if you need a replacement you need a replacement, no matter what the insurance company ultimately says or does.
Got more questions? Are you ready to get your estimate?
Call Longhorn Roofing today! We’ll be glad to help you out.