Dave Lopez, owner of Advanced Roofing Services, Inc., warns against choosing a contractor based on price alone. Roofers are routinely called upon to fix jobs done poorly by others—usually because homeowners reflexively choose the lowest bid without considering other factors. “They’ll get roofing that was installed upside down, for example,” says Mr. Lopez. “Cheaper repairs sometimes cost a lot more in the long run.”
Mr. Lopez also notes that different roofers and estimators have different perspectives on how reroofing or repairs should be done. Therefore, two estimates for the same repair might not actually entail the same type of work. If you get multiple bids—and Mr. Lopez recommends you do—ask questions about the precise nature of the work to confirm the bids are comparable.
Mr. Lopez cautions against foam roofs, even those installed as recently as a year ago. Similar problems have arisen with composition shingles and other flat roofing products. For longevity, Mr. Lopez recommends tar and gravel roof systems.
Different roofs deteriorate at different rates. If you see any of the following signs, it’s time to consider replacement:
• Leaks in numerous places
• Continuous leaks, even with repairs
• Problems return soon after repairs
• Repairs don’t fix the problem
If you decide to undergo a replacement, there are a few things you should do before the installation process begins. Since hammering can cause vibrations inside your home, remove loose items from your walls and shelves. You should also make sure your driveway and surrounding area is clear so the workers have space to move materials directly to your roof.