4 Things You Can Do to Make Sure Your New Roof Won’t Fail
A roof failing only a few years after being installed would be a nightmare scenario for any homeowner. A new roof is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your home, and you want to make sure it lasts as long as possible.
How can you make sure your new roof looks and performs its best for decades to come?
For its ProBlog, GAF put together an article exploring why a new roof can fail. We’ve summarized their four tips and added our own thoughts here for you:
1. Use the Highest Quality Roofing Materials
Quality roofing materials last a long time and keep your home protected from the elements.
When assessing different materials for your roof, make sure you take into account factors like:
- Fire Ratings: Roofing materials can be given one of three grades ranging from an A (effective against severe exposure) to a C (only effective against light exposure). Keep in mind that not all materials (like untreated wood shingles, for example) can be rated.
- Weight: Roofs are only designed to carry a certain amount of weight. If you want to exceed the maximum for your roof, you’ll need to strengthen the substructure (framing). This takes more time and adds additional costs.
- Lifespan: This varies between materials. Laminate shingles typically last 25 to 35 years, while cedar shakes can make it to 30.
- Durability: Your roof needs to be ready to stand up against whatever conditions Mother Nature throws at it including high winds, snow, rain, hail, and sleet.
2. Ensure Proper Installation
To get the best performance out of your roofing materials, they need to be properly installed. You want to find a professional roofer to work on your home, one who stands behind the quality of their workmanship.
When you’re evaluating different roofers, consider things like:
- The Company’s Reputation: Find out how long they’ve been in business, and ensure they have a fixed physical address out of which they operate. What do past customers have to say about them? Consult customer testimonials on their website, third-party reviews from sources like HomeStars, and information included in their Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile.
- Insurance: Your roofer needs to have both General Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance to keep you, your home, and their crews protected.
- Warranties: Most reputable roofers will offer workmanship warranties (these cover problems that are associated with the work they perform). Many suppliers also warranty their products for anywhere from 20 to 50 years.
3. Install a Good Attic Ventilation System
In Southern Ontario, we suffer from cold winters and humid summers. That means our roofs have to deal with both ice dams and overheating.
Your attic needs to be well ventilated to prevent heat and moisture from damaging rafters, shingles, and insulation. Roofing experts and building codes typically recommend one square foot of attic ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic space, though the exact ratio will depend on your roof structure and climate.
4. Use Flashings to Waterproof Your Chimney and Skylights
- If your flashings are still in good condition, your roofer might be able to reuse them. This is especially the case if they are stepped into a wall. Your roofer might also be able to apply additional caulking, which will help strengthen your roof’s water-tight barrier.
- If your flashings are older, they’ll need to be replaced. An experienced roofer will remove and measure the existing flashing, and then custom bend new parts before installing them securely and correctly.
Understanding the reasons why a new roof can fail will help you choose a professional and trustworthy roofer who will leave you confident in the durability of your new roof.
Herb Lodde & Sons Roofing has been providing quality roof replacements and repairs since 1964. We stand behind our workmanship and are committed to delivering superior results using the best materials. Contact us today to schedule your in-home consultation!
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