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Roof Repairs - Advice?
Old 04-01-2008, 04:54 PM   #1
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Roof Repairs - Advice?

Well, the big hailstorm hit & it looks like we may be in for a new roof. 1% deductible so it's not gonna be cheap!

Insurance Agent said go ahead & call some roofers for damage estimate & get back with them.

It's a fairly large house, two-story, steep roof, lots of hips & valleys, complicated roof design. If it needs re-roofing, I'm concerned about a god job being done, particularly on the hips & valleys. (if it was a simple ranch design & not so steep, I'd probably do it myself, oh well, it will be on the next/last house)

Any advice/experience shared on dealing with ins. company, roofers, estimates, quality etc. would be welcomed.

Here's the chance to share your roof story (I'm sure nearly everyone's got one)
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:33 PM   #2
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Back in the 1980's we got hit with a big hail storm and it severely damaged the shingles. The roof was old and needed to be replaced anyway. Our insurance company (State Farm) paid the full replacement cost. Neighbors griped that their roofs had been depreciated due to age before a settlement figure was reached with their own insurance companies..

You might want to research roofing on line to see how it should be done to make sure the estimates are to your expectation. Valleys can be tricky.
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:11 PM   #3
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Texarkandy, my only advice would be to rely heavily on personal references. Bug anyone you know who has had a roof replaced, find out who did it and how pleased they were.

Oh, and check BBB.

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Old 04-01-2008, 07:23 PM   #4
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My neighbor is having is roof redone as we speak. He got five estimates, and all said that his roof was not done right, and they needed to add eaves, etc.

The roofing company descended on the house yesterday, with about 20 people working at once. They will probably finish today. Very impressive operation. They removed to old roof in about an hour.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:01 PM   #5
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The price really varies a lot depending on the pitch, height, etc. With the hips and valleys you described, your best bet is to get multiple bids. From my experience, some bids could easily be 200% of others. Make sure you are quoted on the same material -- some shingles are 15 years, while others are 30 years. If your insurance company is paying for it, you might as well ask for the best material in your quotes.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:05 PM   #6
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Check and re-check the roofing companies. A few years ago, we had our roof replaced, but there was some leaking around two of the skylights. We tried to contact the roofers, but guess what...couldn't reach them.

We contacted our insurance agent and he told us to get an estimate on the repair for the skylights. Found another roofer and the problem was fixed. When there is hail damage to a large area, roofers come out of the woodwork.

Be sure to ask about their liability insurance as well.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:08 PM   #7
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Some thoughts on roofs ("rooves?").
1) Now's the chance to make some improvements (as suggested by Nords in a previous post). Have you been wanting to put a floor in the attic? It's a lot easier to get the material up there when the roof deck is removed.
2) Ventilation: The time to add more is when you are re-roofing. Lots of homes have too little attic ventilation, which drives up cooling costs in the summer, increases the potential for ice dams in cold parts of the country, and increases the potential for moisture damage (from condensation) year round. As a rule of thumb, if you have a very good vapor barrier in your ceiling your ventilation net free area should be at least 1/300th of your ceiling area. If you don't have a good vapor barrier (many homes don't) then you need a ratio of 1/150. Example: 1800 sq foot house with poor vapor barrier = 1800/150 = 12 sq feet = 1728 sq inches of net free vent area. This is divided equaly between high vents (e.g. hat/ridge/gable vents) and low vents (in the soffits). The vents are rated for the amount of net free vent area per unit or per foot, and screening/baffles reduce the net free area compared to the area of the actual hole in the roof/soffit. In the example above, if the house used hat vents with a net free area (NFA) of 85 sq inches each, then they'd need 11 of them (=935 sq " NFA) and an equal NFA in soffit vents.
Some folks like the solar-powered vents or the fans powered by house current. I've read that the house current ones usually don't save enough electricity (in reduced cooling) to offset the power they use. I think the solar ones may have a positive payback in high heat areas. Regardless, the powered vents have the potential to take their intake air from other nearby top-vents, reducing the natural convection you want (from soffit to ridge). All powered vents also have the potential to depressurize the attic sufficiently that all the normal leaks in your house living spaces could end up venting more conditioned (hot or cooled) air into the attic. Overall, I decided to go the natural route and avoid powered vents. Contractors like to sell the powered vents.

Also ensure that you've got a good way for the air to get from the soffits into the attic. They make troughs that extend through the roof bays and into the soffits to assure there's a passage through, often these are installed every third bay. These assure that your attic insulation doesn't block the passage of ventilating air passing from the soffit to the attic
3) Valleys: There are at least three ways to do them:
-- Exposed metal flashing (using a metal channel with a "w" cross-section): This is not seen very much anymore. The metal can rust (unless you use copper, etc) but otherwise the system is very bulletproof. Generally, this look has gone out of style, but it works fine.
-- Interleaved/interwoven: shingles from each side of the valley overlay to the other side in a woven fashion. Some people like the look of this (I do), but many roofers don't recommend it with thicker shingles (esp the new architectural shingles) because the shingles don't bend sufficiently and are prone to cracking and coming up if they are interwoven. So, probably fine with a 25 year three-tab shingle, not a good idea with an architectural shingle.
-- Half-lap/California Cut, etc. This goes by a lot of names, but basically involves shingles from one side of the valley extending over onto the other side, and the shingles from the other direction being cut along the line of the valley. This is the most common approach or the thicker shingles, and seems to meet manufacturers installation guidelines. This is the style I went with on my new roof (with architectural, 50 yr shingles)

Regardless of the valley shingling method selected, insist on stick-down membrane ("Ice and water guard" is what I think it is called) in all valleys.

If you live in an area that gets snow, you want the same stick-down membrane on all eaves (as protection against water damage from ice dams) extending 36" inside the line formed by the exterior wall.

Shingles: get good ones.

In some areas it makes good sense to consider a standing seam metal roof as a replacement for asphalt shingles. Yes, it's costly, but it will last 50+ years without trouble. Since you obviously live in an area where hail occurs, this is probably not a great option.

Get recommendations and go with a good contractor. If a lot of folks have damage from the storm, you might not be able to get a good local contractor immediately--if the roof isn't leaking, you might want to get on the list of a reputable contractor and wait.

We had a thread here a few months ago about gutters and leafguards, you might want to look for it.

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Old 04-01-2008, 08:16 PM   #8
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after they thought they were done, i had them rip the new roof off and redo it from scratch. i inspected upon what they thought was completion and was completely dissatisfied. it wasn't even constructed according to the manufacturer's specs. i'll never forget the contractor's famous last words "i'm not going to lose any money on this job."

the next day i had the head of the county building department up on my roof and the day after that the 2nd new roofing job began. it is just a shingle roof but on their second try they had to reset their air guns to just place the nails which were then all tapped into proper place by hand.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:44 PM   #9
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All good comments/advice - keep em coming - thanks

(Note: house is still "unofficially" for sale - hopefully going to ER next year)
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:47 PM   #10
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I haven't passed this thread to DH (who is an architect) so much of the following is based on what I hear of his mutterings: The underlayment and flashing is critical, without regard to what you select as the roofing material. The building officials are not skilled enough to make sure that your installation is correct. Spend a couple dollars with the construction professional equivalent of an 'old salt'. Ask him/her to write a spec and be on site during the installation (do you know a great home inspector?)

There is a new roofing material out there that is a rubber composite that looks like slate and has a 50-year life. Maybe it is too much of an 'upgrade' for your situation but is sure as heck should handle hail.

That stick-um stuff under flashing is very good. Of course it needs to be applied properly. Basic requirement: self sealing around nails and cuts.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
The price really varies a lot depending on the pitch, height, etc. With the hips and valleys you described, your best bet is to get multiple bids. From my experience, some bids could easily be 200% of others. Make sure you are quoted on the same material -- some shingles are 15 years, while others are 30 years. If your insurance company is paying for it, you might as well ask for the best material in your quotes.
Thanks,

(lots of pitch, height, hips, & valleys)
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:23 PM   #12
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There is a new roofing material out there that is a rubber composite that looks like slate and has a 50-year life. Maybe it is too much of an 'upgrade' for your situation but is sure as heck should handle hail.
..........

Yes, that probably will be too much of an upgrade considering the hoped for sale in the next year or so - I want to be able to offer a potential buyer a good quality (workmanship & materials) new roof - but not a super expensive topnotch one.

We are in Texarkana, TX, a fairly small city (but also the 2nd fastest growing small metro area in the US) & I'm finding we seem to have a mix of a few respected local contractors with 20+ years in business - and a few I can find no track record on.

Does NRCA (Natl Assoc Roofing Contractors) membership count for anything?

BBB?
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:39 PM   #13
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Well, the big hailstorm hit & it looks like we may be in for a new roof.
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Back in the 1980's we got hit with a big hail storm and it severely damaged the shingles. The roof was old and needed to be replaced anyway. Our insurance company (State Farm) paid the full replacement cost. Neighbors griped that their roofs had been depreciated due to age before a settlement figure was reached with their own insurance companies.
We got nailed by a big hail storm a few years ago that chewed up some of the shingles. I called the insurance (State Farm) and they sent out an adjuster. He climbed up there, looked around, marked a couple of spots...then he said the heck with it......he wrote us check to cover total tear-off and replacement! He said if it came to more than that amount call him, and he'd send out another check to cover the difference as well. He also cut us check to cover replacement of the aluminum siding that had some dingers in it.....I told him I didn't think it was worth messing with...but he wrote the check anyway! He said to call him after the roof was repaired, so they could come out and verify that it was done...it had something to do with our policy...don't remember specifically what though. He didn't care whether we did anything with the siding or not.....he said for all he cared, we could use the siding check to pay for a vacation! We did! They only required that we do the roof, or return that amount.

The next day, I called a roofer that is related to one of my Mom's friends. I didn't tell him that the adjuster had already been there and paid up us front. When he came out and looked at the job, he recommended a complete tear-off and replacement as well. His bid was about $18 less than the ins check! He and his 2 guys did the complete tear-off, cut in and installed a continuous ridge vent, put down the roof felt, and shingled it.....about 1400 sq.ft.....all in one day. After they were done and gone, we took the remaining $18. and went out for dinner!

The neighbor had similar damage to his roof of similar age, but his ins. adjuster had him get estimates, and then they only paid a percentage of the lowest bid...I guess due to depreciation or whatever. They also wouldn't pay for repair of his vinyl siding because the hail didn't put holes in it. He was really p*ssed about it....especially when he found out how we'd made out.

Quote:
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Texarkandy, my only advice would be to rely heavily on personal references. Bug anyone you know who has had a roof replaced, find out who did it and how pleased they were.
That's how we came up with the guy that did our roof. We asked several people that had him do work for them over the years, and they were all very happy with his work and prices. We've had him back for other roofing projects too. In fact, this Thursday morning he and his crew are scheduled to be here to extend the gable roof of my garage, over my currently flat workshop. They'll get it framed and papered the 1st day, and come back to shingle it the 2nd day. He'll come back another day to put aluminum siding on the workshop to match the garage.
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Old 04-02-2008, 12:26 AM   #14
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The NARC membership is a good first screen. Ask for references, and while you are chatting ask about any continuing education classes attended.

Pay a visit to your local roofing materials seller. Look over their offerings and ask about the advantages and disadvantages of each. Some products require specific underlayment or don't work if you have heat reflective insulation. Often they will tell you that the manufacturer of a product requires that it be installed by a contractor approved by them to warranty the product. Ask for the list of approved contractors.

Roofing issues in Texarkana are a lot different than Puget Sound, you need to talk to your local experts.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:35 AM   #15
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You might consider a metal roof. They're not inexpensive, but most have at least a 50 year warranty, and are extremely durable. We put one on our antique home 6 years ago, and it still looks like the day it was put on.

They can be installed on any roof configuration, and with the type we have, standing seam, there are NO fastener penetrations at all. They are also very resistant to storms and damage, and fireproof.
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:24 AM   #16
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You might want to get covered gutters, too, so that you won't have to clean them all the time. I really like mine, anyway.
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:22 PM   #17
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You might want to get covered gutters, too, so that you won't have to clean them all the time. I really like mine, anyway.
I like mine too! I'm going to have them installed on the garage/workshop, as soon as the roofer gets finished.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:11 PM   #18
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We had a new roof installed last year following a hail storm. The roof was pretty old (15+ years) so we got very little from the insurance company. We asked three contractors for estimates. It ranged from $6,000 to $12,000. The contractor with the highest bid came highly recommended by friends and family members. He had been in business for 30+ years and he seemed to really know his stuff. He was punctual, courteous and very professional. I knew from other people who used his services that I could count on him to come back to make any adjustment if needed and that he really stood by his 5-year warrantee. The lower estimates came from less established contractors who seem to work very fast but use a lot of illegals. So we picked the contractor with the highest estimate. He started working on our roof one week behind schedule. When I asked him about the delay he said that he was not installing any roof that week because it was too hot (100+ degrees) and that workers could damage the shingles simply by walking on them when it was that hot. During that week, lots of new roofs were being installed in my neighborhood by other contractors regardless of weather conditions.

Our neighbor picked the cheap labor. He has a ranch-style house with a very large roof. They came in the morning and remove all the shingles at once. By late afternoon it was pouring and less than half the roof had been replaced (they thought they could finish roofing before the rain but the rain was a bit early and the crew was way behind schedule). They tried to cover the rest of the roof with tarps but it was still raining inside the house and it damaged part of the ceiling. He wasn't happy at all as you can imagine.

A friend of my MIL also picked one of the cheapest estimates. They seem to do a beautiful job. But... they did not install any flashing, they used 15 year shingles when she paid for 20 year shingles and they did not install a new layer of felt under the shingles. When it started leaking a few weeks later, the company had shut down (she figures they moved on to the next town suffering from extensive hail damages). She had to pay another company to install a brand new roof from scratch.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:05 PM   #19
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If you're gonna sell the place then don't spend too much extra on the quality. Buyers expect a roof but they won't pay extra for a nice roof. If you go into rapturous detail about ridge vents, insulation, underlayment, and so forth then you're gonna glaze over a lot of eyeballs.

One selling point, depending on your winter snow situation, would be extra heat-reflective insulation. If the house gets really really hot in summer then extra reflective foil (or foam insulation panels) may keep the attic cooler and reduce the house's heat load. Of course heat-reflective insulation can cause a completely different ice-dam problem with winter snows...

However a sharp-eyed home inspector can make your life a living hell. This is a good opportunity to fix all the soffits, replace rotted/dinged fascia boards, and make sure that any exterior ventilation holes have the anti-bird/rodent/bug screens installed (or replaced). Maybe they should also replace the flashing/seals around the sewer vents.

You want the roofer to bring brand new metal flashing, especially the flashing that's stuck behind the exterior wall/siding. If the old flashing is re-used then water will penetrate through the old nail holes.

If you're thinking of replacing whole-house fans or other attic equipment, it may be a lot easier to do when the roof is off. Or if you just want an easier way to clean out the attic, maybe the crew will take a lunch break after the old roof is off so that you can pitch stuff out to the ground through the trusses before the new sheathing goes on...
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Just a quick update....
Old 04-04-2008, 09:03 PM   #20
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Just a quick update....

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Originally Posted by Goonie View Post
..........In fact, this Thursday morning he and his crew are scheduled to be here to extend the gable roof of my garage, over my currently flat workshop. They'll get it framed and papered the 1st day, and come back to shingle it the 2nd day. He'll come back another day to put aluminum siding on the workshop to match the garage.
They were here yesterday morning (Thurs.) at 8am and did what little tear-off was needed, then framed, sheeted and papered the new gable roof. They came back this morning and installed attic insulation, closed in the gable end, cut-in the ridge vents, and shingled it. They're coming back in the morning for about an hour to finish the soffits, and do clean-up.

The aluminum siding and some accessories had to be ordered, and they won't be in for about 7-10 days.....as soon as it gets here, he'll come and install it.

They're very meticulous, and have done a great job so far (as usual). I'm one very happy camper!!!
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