Selecting a Roofing Contractor
Well, the cover photo and photos within this blog are examples of a roofing contractor that either has no clue what they are doing and/or are taking a shortcut; either way is WRONG! The following are tips provided by The Texas Department of Insurance in regard to selecting a roofing contractor.
1. How do I go about selecting a contractor to install my new roof?
Roof replacement on both new and existing home is best performed by a professional roofing contractor. You should check references on the roofer selected. The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas has a list of member contractors in your area. Visit www.rooftex.com or call toll-free at 800-997-6631.
2. What are the best roofing material choices for my house based on weather conditions in my area of the country?
Texas has two of the most severe weather conditions a roofing system can face: high winds and hail. Choose products that have been tested to ASTM D 3161 and have a 110 mph wind resistance or higher (some go as high as 130 mph resistance while others as low as 60 mph) and ask for UL 2218 Class 4 impact-resistant products.
3. Are warranties an indication of how long my new roof will last?
No. Warranties outline the manufacturer's liability and responsibility over a set period of years. Since most warranties are prorated, the manufacturer's liability continues to decrease as the months go by.
4. Is my roof decking acceptable as it is or should it be properly reattached or possibly replaced while the existing roof has been removed?
Inspect the decking when the roof covering is removed and replace damaged decking. For maximum wind and windborne debris resistance on new installations or where existing conditions would permit, the use of thicker decking, use 5/8" thick plywood. Nail it with 10 penny common or 8 penny ring shank nails spaced at 4 inches along the panel edges and every 6 inches in the field of the plywood panel. Make sure the nails penetrate the decking directly into the roof framing.
Look in the attic. If you can see nails along the sides of the rafters or trusses, where the nail penetrates the decking, your roof deck may not be securely fastened.
5. Can a secondary water barrier be installed before the new roof covering is installed?
Yes. Install self-adhering flashing tape or polymer bitumen strips (commonly called peel-and-seal) on top of the joints in your roof deck.
6. What kind of underlayment should I install?
Use 30# roofing felt, which is thicker and more durable than 15# felt.
7. What are flashings and how important are they in the re-roofing process?
Flashings are connections to the roof covering to any protrusion in the roof system or any wall that the roof butts up to. These are critical areas that will allow rain to penetrate if they are not installed and sealed properly.
8. Does my home have adequate roof-to-wall connections and gable end bracing?
If you are in a high wind area, roof-to-wall connections are recommended. Install these brackets when the roof is removed. Bracing may be beyond your roofing contractor's scope and he or she may have to work with a building contractor. The bottom decking will have to be removed, bracing installed, and then the decking replaced.
Collapse of a gable end wall is a common failure during hurricanes. To accommodate the strong pressures of hurricane force winds, gable ends need additional bracing. Information on this procedure is available from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (www.flash.org).
9. How can I tell if my home has adequate ventilation?
A roof should have one square foot of net ventilation area for every 150 square feet of attic floor space. Ventilation devices must be fastened or secured to the roof deck to resist wind pressures.
10. How can I verify if my roof covering was properly installed?
Prior to installation of the roof covering call the local windstorm field office in your area or
800-248-6032 to schedule a free inspection with a TDI representative. Visit www.tdi.texas.gov; for details.
11. If I want to install or need to replace my skylights, what do I need to know about getting the right skylight installed for my house?
Skylights are extremely vulnerable to wind borne debris and hail. Skylights should be tested in accordance with ASTME 1886 and ASTME 1996 or other approved impact standards.
Source of Information: Texas Department of Insurance
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