With costs for a new roof installation sometimes rising as high as thousands of dollars, you will want to do everything in your power to make sure you get your money’s worth. Choosing the right Northern Virginia roofing contractor is a crucial decision that, if made correctly, ensures your new roof will maintain its integrity for years after your initial investment. Going with the lowest bid is not always a wise decision, especially if you value quality craftsmanship and don’t want to be tackling issues like a roof leak next summer.
How To Determine Quality Roofing Work
There are numerous red flags that could indicate improper roof repair work, ranging from inadequate sheathing to improper shingle installation. So how can you tell if your Northern Virginia roofing contractor did a great job? Here are a few things to look for in quality roof work.
1. Hiring A Reputable Roofing Contractor
Choosing a qualified Northern Virginia roofing contractor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when installation or repairing your roof. While contractors differ in terms of experience and services, most qualified roofing contractors share certain similarities. Confirm that your contractor has an established business with a reachable telephone number and business license. A quality contractor should also possess insurance, professional credentials, and a good rating with the Better Business Bureau. Also check to see if the contractor offers a warranty that covers all work and materials. While a low bid may be tempting, you usually get what you pay for.
2. Proper Roof Removal
Before a new roof can be installed, it’s best to remove the old one completely. While some Northern Virginia roofing contractors choose to install a new roof over an existing one to save time and money, this shortcut can come with possible consequences. The condition of the underlayment affects the long-term durability of the new shingles.
When new shingles are attached directly to the plywood rather than the old underlayment, they are far more likely to last longer. While the decision is ultimately up to the homeowners, it’s wise to choose a contractor who will take the time to get the job done correctly.
3. Adequate Sheathing
Before roof repair or installation can occur, a quality contractor will take the time to mend the roof’s sheathing. Over time, sheathing will likely become loose due to inadequate nails or failure to nail an entire section of sheathing. When the sheathing is not properly nailed down, you may find unsightly buckles forming in the roof over time due to warping. When sheathing is left loose, the nails can pop out, creating holes that cause the shingles to crack of blow off. Nail holes can also lead to leaks. When looking for signs of quality roof work, look for a contractor who took the time to repair inadequate sheathing before going forward with roof repair or installation.
4. Clean Job Site
As the contractor performs roof repair, take notice of the surrounding job site. While it’s nearly impossible for a job site to remain completely spotless, professional contractors will do their best to keep your landscape clean and intact throughout the process. Boards or cardboard sheets may be used to protect your lawn from abuse. Professional contractors will also pick up any excess materials such as roofing scraps from your yard. A dumpster may also be brought onto the jobsite to ensure that no leftover nails, shingles, or other materials are left behind.
5. Strategically Placed Nails
Roof repair isn’t as simple as nailing in a few shingles. An experienced contractor knows that nails must be strategically placed to prevent them from becoming loose or blowing off. Most manufacturers also require shingles to be nailed a certain way to qualify for a warranty. When a shingle isn’t nailed properly, it can leave the nail exposed leading to staining and eventually leaks.
Contractors who use pneumatic nail guns must also make sure that each nail is set to the proper depth. In some instances, nails may need to be driven in by hand. Make sure your contractor takes the time to get each and every nail placement just right and doesn’t just run through the job to get the shingles anchored as quickly as possible.
6. Frequent Inspections
Depending on the size of your roof, you may be looking at several days or even weeks of work. Throughout this time, frequent roof maintenance should be performed by the contractor throughout the roofing project for quality control purposes. When roofing projects last for several days, rain, heavy winds, and storms are possible threats. The proper nailing pattern and other quality control measures will help ensure that all roofing materials stay put until the job is complete. At a minimum, your contractor should inspect the roof at the end of each work day.
7. Correct Shingle Installation
Asphalt shingles are one of the most commonly used roofing materials. While widely used, some contractors fail to correctly install these shingles, increasing the risk of cracks, leakage, and other issues. Even small problems such as not having enough overlap between shingle columns can cause major damage down the road.
One of the easiest ways to spot a subpar roofing job is by looking at how the shingles align. The cutouts on three-tab shingles should be vertical and the butted joints should be on the same horizontal plane.
8. Attention To The Details
When trying to determine if your contractor did quality roof work, look at the details. Start with the flashing which protects your roof from leaks. Flashing is typically made from steel or aluminum and should be installed at all wall intersections, as well as around chimneys and skylights. Some contractors may choose putty or tar instead of flashing, but this method can lead to cracks and leaks. Also take notice of other small details such as the drip edge. Drip edges are typically made of galvanized steel and should extend just over the gutter to keep water flowing down the roof, into the gutter, and away from the house.
Quality Roofing Work – Worth the Wait
You don’t want a contractor who is going to cut corners to save money. When it comes to roof repair and installation, you want a contractor who is going to deliver quality work at a fair price and takes the time to do it right. If you expect that your roofing contractor has done shoddy work on your home, don’t wait until damage has occurred to take action. Contact our team of qualified and experienced Northern Virginia roof repair contractors at Beyond Exteriors to see how we can help. Beyond Exteriors offers superior roofing products from today’s industry leaders and works with all types of roofing materials. Fill out our online contact form to schedule an on-site consultation with one of our owners today!