Looking for residential roofing in Rochester NY? Then, you’re not alone. Our long, hard winters mean roofing is part of every homeowner’s budget. However, hiring roofers is a big deal and a big investment. So, it is worth doing your homework first. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Here you’ll find what you need to know about:
- the parts of a roof
- when to hire a roofer
- how to hire a roofer
Let’s get started!
Parts of a Roof
What do you see when you look at your roof? A bunch of shingles? Or maybe a bright metal covering? While these are important parts of a roof, there’s a lot more to it! Indeed, the better you understand the anatomy of your roof, the better you’ll be able to work with your roofers. Simply put, a roof is made of layers. These layers work together to protect your home. Now let’s take a closer look at the key parts of your roof.
First, the decking. Also called wooden sheathing this is the foundation of your roof. While there are many decking materials, most roofing in Rochester NY uses OSB (oriented strand board) or plywood. Nailed to the rafters, decking is the base for your roof’s layers.
Next, is underlayment. Typically made of felt, underlayment is a waterproof barrier. Installed before the shingles it offers temporary protection from the rain. Moreover, it helps to stop water damage due to broken shingles.
Made of asphalt, metal, clay and more, shingles are the protective ‘shell’ of your roof. Once installed correctly, shingles protect your home from all but the worst weather. While roofs here in Upstate NY may have a shorter lifespan than in warmer areas, you can expect a properly installed asphalt roof to last 20-25 years.
Of course, a new roof should have top quality decking, underlayment, shingles, and installation. However, these components alone cannot stop water damage. Another important part of your roof is flashing. Made of aluminum, flashing helps to extend the life of your roof. How? Well, it acts as an extra barrier against moisture. In other words, flashing is strips of metal placed at vulnerable points of your roof. For instance, around the base of a chimney and other joints. Engineered to channel water to gutters and the ground, properly installed flashing is essential to a good roof.
Okay, so armed with your basic understanding of roofs, let’s consider when you might need to hire roofing in Rochester NY.
Top Signs that You Need to Hire a Roofer
There are three main reasons that you might need a roofer:
- a new roof (including re-cover or a ‘tear-off’)
- roofing repair
Getting a New Roof
A new roof can last 20-50 years, depending on where you live and the materials used. There are a number of signs that you need a new roof:
- it is 25 years or older
- curled or cracked shingles
- missing shingles
- visible holes (you can see sunlight in the attic!)
- roof sagging
Usually, roofs in Rochester NY last 20-30 years. When it is time to put on a new roof you have two options, depending on your home’s roof layers. That is, the Residential Building Code of New York State only permits re-roofs over one layer of roof covering. In other words, you can cover one layer of shingles with new shingles. However, if there are already two layers of shingles, you need a full ‘tear-off’. A tear-off roof is just what it sounds like. That is, roofers tear off your old roof and install a completely new one. Alternatively, if building regulations allow, you can opt for a re-roof, or ‘overlay roof’. With overlay roofs, new shingles are laid on top of old ones.
If your roof is newer and well-maintained, sometimes roof repair is all you need. So, if you discover a leak, don’t wait! Contact a professional as soon as possible. The quicker a repair is made, the less damage done.
Similarly, routine maintenance can extend the life of your roof. For instance, every year: remove debris; check for damage and make repairs; clear off moss; and clean the gutters. While this can be time-consuming and difficult work, it is worth hiring professional maintenance on an annual or bi-annual basis. Roofs in Rochester NY can have a particularly hard life. Between the autumn leaf fall, winter snow and spring wind and rain, preventative maintenance can make a big difference to the lifespan and overall cost of your roof.
How to Find Roofing in Rochester NY
So, when you’re at the point of hiring a roofer, how should you do it? Start by contacting several Rochester roofing contractors. Many local roofers offer free estimates. Then, when the contractor comes to do the estimate, there are some important questions you should ask.
Are you insured?
First, is the contractor insured? Roofers should have workmans’ compensation and liability insurance. This protects you in the event of an accident. That is, without workers’ comp, you may be responsible for medical bills and costs due to injury during roofing repair or replacement. Most homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover this, so you’d be personally responsible for the costs.
Do you use subcontractors?
Second, find out if they use subcontractors. Larger companies tend to use subcontractors. While not necessarily a cause for alarm, proceed with caution. You’ll need to vet the company and the subcontractor and make sure neither has serious customer complaints. Likewise, make sure the subcontractor is fully-insured. Where possible, you might avoid subcontractors as this tends to result in higher quality craftsmen and results.
What is your warranty?
Next, ask about warranties. On the one hand, the manufacturer of your roof will offer a warranty on materials. Clearly, this will vary between manufacturers. Moreover, some manufacturers offer certification. This helps ensure their roofs are installed properly. This can have an impact on manufacturers’ warranties if roofs are not installed to their guidelines. On the other hand, roofers may offer warranties on their installation work. Find out exactly what is covered, for how long, and by whom (ie the manufacturer or the contractor).
Before you Sign
While these are the top 3 questions to ask, there are other things to keep in mind before you agree to a contract. For example, you might want to discuss clean-up and landscaping protection. Additionally, you might ask for references. Similarly, look for reviews on sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, BBB, and Google. Iit is worth doing a little digging before making your final decision.
Need Residential Roofing in Rochester NY?
Then contact us! We are a family-owned and operated firm located in Webster, NY. With decades of experience and GAF Certification, our fully-insured team of pros gets your job done right. We never subcontract and our team of father and son master roofers takes care of your job, personally. We offer residential roofing in Rochester NY, commercial roofing contractors in Rochester NY, and roof repair in Webster NY and beyond! You can see the pride we take in our work in our gallery. And when you’re ready, just get in touch for a free estimate.