Roofing / Roofers/ Roof Repair / Houston Contractors
10 Tips for Selecting a Roofing Contractor -
Select the right roofers to avoid long term problems. A Pre-qualified Check A Pro properly certified and high quality roofing contractor is important and often a difficult task for consumers who are unfamiliar with the roofing industry. Roofing in the greater Katy and Houston area is an unregulated industry. It is important to select certified roofers who will be in business to honor their warranty in the future. There are a large number of roofing contractors who are not certified and have both low quality installations and poor workmanship. The average start-up business is usually closed within three years, and may be out of business when potential roofing problem could arise.
The following are tips and important questions that can help you select a professional roofing contractor (Check A Pro / Katy Pros always pre-qualified all of its roofers)
How long has the roofer been in business?
An established company will most likely be around in the future should any problems arise.
Does the contractor have a permanent business office address, phone, and email?
An established roofing contractor should be able to provide a business address, phone, and email. A permanent business address is a sign of a stable company.
Does the contractor use subcontractors?
Subcontractors are often paid on a per job basis, which can result in poor workmanship as the job is completed as fast as possible.
Does the roofing company supply a written contract and estimate (and do they require a deposit)?
All job specifications and prices should be supplied in writing. Established companies with strong financial stability usually do not require a deposit. Deposits are common, be wary of any contractor requesting more than 1/3 of the cost of the project.
Check to see if the company is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the local Chamber of Commerce.
Research all potential contractors on the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce. Look for the overall business rating and keep in mind the general size of the company when checking for complaints.
Is the company registered with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and do they have liability insurance?
Check to see if the contractor is part of local and national industry associations.
A strong established contractor should be a member of Check A Pro - www.checkapro.com. Look for a contractor who is a certified installer of the products they offer.
Certified contractors can offer stronger warranties on the products they install and follow stricter installation guidelines.
Look for a contractor who offers emergency service.
A contractor who offers emergency service will be able to address a serious problem quickly, even after regular business hours.
Ask the contractor for references of previous customers.
An established company should have a long list of satisfied customers who are willing to be contacted.
Never decide on price alone. In an unregulated industry anyone can become a roofing contractor. Self-proclaimed handymen can provide a lower price and substandard workmanship. Always look for differences in materials and job specifications when comparing quotes.
Roofs are one of the universal structures found on all buildings. Pitched roofs are the primary design found on residential homes. Residential roof designs depend on the climate of the area. Roofing designs must accommodate snow, rain, and all different temperature. Different forms of roofing and roofing material has become increasingly popular over the years. Certain roofs have even become mandated by local codes. Some popular roofs are cool roofs, green roofs, and solar roofs. Roofers can help maintain and repair roofs, or install roofs to match your building style.
Roof Leaks, Roof Repair, Re-Roof, Roofing.
Roofing, Roofers, Roof Repair
A roof is the most important part of your home. It is the covering on the uppermost part of the house or shelter which provides protection from animals and weather, notably rain or snow, but also heat, wind and sunlight. The word also denotes the framing or structure which supports that covering.
The characteristics of a roof are dependent upon the purpose of the building that it covers, the available roofing materials and the local traditions of construction and wider concepts of architectural design and practice and may also be governed by local or national legislation. In most countries a roof protects primarily against rain. A verandah may be roofed with material that protects against sunlight but admits the other elements. The roof of a garden conservatory protects plants from cold, wind, and rain, but admits light.
A roof may also provide additional living space, for example a roof garden or also known as a roofing lounge.
There are no apparent connections outside the Germanic family. "English alone has retained the word in a general sense, for which the other languages use forms corresponding to OE.
The material of a roof may range from banana leaves, wheaten straw or seagrass to laminated glass, copper (see: copper roofing), aluminum sheeting and pre-cast concrete. In many parts of the world ceramic tiles have been the predominant roofing material for centuries, if not millennia. Other roofing materials include asphalt, coal tar pitch, EPDM rubber, polyurethane foam, PVC, slate, Teflon fabric, TPO, and wood shakes and shingles.
The construction of a roof is determined by its method of support and how the underneath space is bridged and whether or not the roof is pitched. The pitch is the angle at which the roof rises from its lowest to highest point. Most US domestic architecture, except in very dry regions, has roofs that are sloped, or pitched. Although modern construction elements such as drainpipes may remove the need for pitch, roofs are pitched for reasons of tradition and aesthetics. So the pitch is partly dependent upon stylistic factors, and partially to do with practicalities.
Some types of roofing, for example thatch, require a steep pitch in order to be waterproof and durable. Other types of roofing, for example pantiles, are unstable on a steeply pitched roof but provide excellent weather protection at a relatively low angle. In regions where there is little rain, an almost flat roof with a slight run-off provides adequate protection against an occasional downpour. Drainpipes also remove the need for a sloping roof.
A person that specializes in roof construction is called a roofer.
The durability of a roof is a matter of concern because the roof is often the least accessible part of a building for purposes of repair and renewal, while its damage or destruction can have serious effects.
The shape of roofs differs greatly from region to region. The main factors which influence the shape of roofs are the climate and the materials available for roof structure and the outer covering.
The basic shapes of roofs are flat, mono-pitched, gabled, hipped, butterfly, arched and domed. There are many variations on these types. Roofs constructed of flat sections that are sloped are referred to as pitched roofs (generally if the angle exceeds 10 degrees). Pitched roofs, including gabled, hipped and large roofs, make up the greatest number of domestic roofs. Some roofs follow organic shapes, either by architectural design or because a flexible material such as thatch has been used in the construction.
There are two parts to a roof, its supporting structure and its outer skin, or uppermost weatherproof layer. In a minority of buildings, the outer layer is also a self-supporting structure.
The roof structure is generally supported upon walls, although some building styles, for example, geodesic and A-frame, blur the distinction between wall and roof.
The supporting structure of a roof usually comprises beams that are long and of strong, fairly rigid material such as timber, and since the mid-19th century, cast iron or steel. In countries that use bamboo extensively, the flexibility of the material causes a distinctive curving line to the roof, characteristic of Oriental architecture.
Timber lends itself to a great variety of roof shapes. The timber structure can fulfil an aesthetic as well as practical function, when left exposed to view.
Stone lintels have been used to support roofs since prehistoric times, but cannot bridge large distances. The stone arch came into extensive use in the ancient Roman period and in variant forms could be used to span spaces up to 140 feet (43 m) across. The stone arch or vault, with or without ribs, dominated the roof structures of major architectural works for about 2,000 years, only giving way to iron beams with the Industrial Revolution and the designing of such buildings as Paxton's Crystal Palace, completed 1851.
With continual improvements in steel girders, these became the major structural support for large roofs, and eventually for ordinary houses as well. Another form of girder is the reinforced concrete beam, in which metal rods are encased in concrete, giving it greater strength under tension.
This part of the roof shows great variation dependent upon availability of material. In vernacular architecture, roofing material is often vegetation, such as thatches, the most durable being sea grass with a life of perhaps 40 years. In many Asian countries bamboo is used both for the supporting structure and the outer layer where split bamboo stems are laid turned alternately and overlapped. In areas with an abundance of timber, wooden shingles and boards are used, while in some countries the bark of certain trees can be peeled off in thick, heavy sheets and used for roofing.
The 20th century saw the manufacture of composition asphalt shingles which can last from a thin 20-year shingle to the thickest which are limited lifetime shingles, the cost depending on the thickness and durability of the shingle. When a layer of shingles wears out, they are usually stripped, along with the underlay and roofing nails, allowing a new layer to be installed. An alternative method is to install another layer directly over the worn layer. While this method is faster, it does not allow the roof sheathing to be inspected and water damage, often associated with worn shingles, to be repaired. Having multiple layers of old shingles under a new layer causes roofing nails to be located further from the sheathing, weakening their hold. The greatest concern with this method is that the weight of the extra material could exceed the dead load capacity of the roof structure and cause collapse. Because of this, jurisdictions which use the International Building Code prohibit the installation of new roofing on top of an existing roof that has two or more applications of any type of roof covering; the existing roofing material must be removed before installing a new roof.
Slate is an ideal, and durable material, while in the Swiss Alps roofs are made from huge slabs of stone, several inches thick. The slate roof is often considered the best type of roofing. A slate roof may last 75 to 150 years, and even longer. However, slate roofs are often expensive to install in the USA, for example, a slate roof may have the same cost as the rest of the house. Often, the first part of a slate roof to fail is the fixing nails; they corrode, allowing the slates to slip. In the UK, this condition is known as "nail sickness". Because of this problem, fixing nails made of stainless steel or copper are recommended, and even these must be protected from the weather.
Asbestos, usually in bonded corrugated panels, has been used widely in the 20th century as an inexpensive, non-flammable roofing material with excellent insulating properties. Health and legal issues involved in the mining and handling of asbestos products means that it is no longer used as a new roofing material. However, many asbestos roofs continue to exist, particularly in South America and Asia.
Roofs made of cut turf (modern ones known as green roofs, traditional ones as sod roofs) have good insulating properties and are increasingly encouraged as a way of "greening" the Earth. Adobe roofs are roofs of clay, mixed with binding material such as straw or animal hair, and plastered on lathes to form a flat or gently sloped roof, usually in areas of low rainfall.
In areas where clay is plentiful, roofs of baked tiles have been the major form of roofing. The casting and firing of roof tiles is an industry that is often associated with brickworks. While the shape and color of tiles was once regionally distinctive, now tiles of many shapes and colors are produced commercially, to suit the taste and pocketbook of the purchaser.
Sheet metal in the form of copper and lead has also been used for many hundreds of years. Both are expensive but durable, the vast copper roof of Chartres Cathedral, oxidized to a pale green color, having been in place for hundreds of years. Lead, which is sometimes used for church roofs, was most commonly used as flashing in valleys and around chimneys on domestic roofs, particularly those of slate. Copper was used for the same purpose.
In the 19th century, iron, electroplated with zinc to improve its resistance to rust, became a light-weight, easily transported, waterproofing material. Its low cost and easy application made it the most accessible commercial roofing, worldwide. Since then, many types of metal roofing have been developed. Steel shingle or standing-seam roofs last about 50 years or more depending on both the method of installation and the moisture barrier (underlayment) used and are between the cost of shingle roofs and slate roofs. In the 20th century a large number of roofing materials were developed, including roofs based on bitumen (already used in previous centuries), on rubber and on a range of synthetics such as thermoplastic and on fiberglass composite roofing shingles.