Saturday, December 31, 2011

Your Roof, Should You Repair or Replace It?

When your roof leaks, you know that you must do something about it. The question is, should you repair it or replace it? Replacing the roof is a major expense that you may want to defer for as long as possible. Following are some factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your roof.
The first thing to consider is the condition of the roof. If a few shingles are missing here and there or you have a leak in one area, you can probably have the roof repaired. But if shingles are missing or you are experiencing lifting, curling with frayed edges and there are a number of leaky areas or the roof has sustained major damage, replacement may be the best option.
The age of your roof is another factor to consider. Most asphalt roofs last 20 to 30 years before they need to be replaced, while metal and tile roofs can last even longer. Some manufacturers of roofing materials offer warranties on their products too. If your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan and you are noticing problems related to the roof's condition, you know that a new roof will be needed. But if the roof is not that old, repairing it might be the best option, especially if the warranty is still in effect. If that is the case, contact the roofing manufacturer to find out how to proceed.
If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan and you are starting to have minor problems with it, consider your budget. Because replacing a roof can cause thousands of dollars, you may not have the money available to undertake this project right away. In that case, you may want to have minor roof repairs done to give you time to save enough money or to obtain a loan so that you can have the roof replaced.
If you decide that replacing your roof is the best option, you must then decide if you want to have a new roof placed over the old one or if you want the old roof torn off and replaced with a new one. If there is only one layer of asphalt roofing on your house, it is usually possible to have the new roof placed on top of the old one. This is less costly than having the old roof torn off first. However, if there are already two layers of roofing on the house, you will probably have to have a tear-off done. You must also decide on the type of roofing materials you want to use. Research the advantages and disadvantages of each type of roofing material to make that determination. A good rule of thumb to use when figuring how much a new roof will cost you would be. Shingles are purchased by the square (which is 100 square feet), an approx. down & dirty number to use in figuring the costs of a roof would be $250 per square for a "roll over" (go over one layer of shingles) & $350 per square for 'rip & re-ply (take off all layers of shingles and install new).
Replacing a roof is a major project and can be quite costly. Before you go that route, use the factors listed above to make an evaluation of your roof and the options available to you. That will help you decide if you should repair your roof or replace it entirely.
Article Source:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Avoid Unlicensed Companies When Getting Your Roof Repaired

Recently a survey was performed by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) that identified the top ten roofing client complaints. A large majority of the complaints were based on the roofing company having bad operation standards and failing to start or complete the job. In addition, National Magazine conducted an exclusive survey that ended up having astonishing results. Believe it or not, 50% of the people surveyed would not recommend the roofing company they used to a friend.
When picking out a roofing company, make sure they can supply you with all the following things. First off, make sure they are a licensed company. Far too many times in the roofing industry, companies are not licensed end up hurting themselves on site and suing the customer! The bad part is that unlicensed companies are unlikely to be carrying the proper insurance, so it all falls back on you if anyone gets hurt (they could actually win the lawsuit). Generally speaking, any roofing company that's listed with the Better Business Bureau and has good reviews is likely to be your best bet. If a roofing company is not affiliated with any associations, there's a good chance that they are unlicensed, uninsured or just plain inexperienced. Another great place to look for an experienced roofing company is your local chamber of commerce.
The company you end up hiring should be knowledgeable about the many diverse products and options that are available for your home. After all, do you really want a company that you're not comfortable with working on your biggest investment? Keep in mind that the sales person you spoke with over the phone might be nice, but what about the problem that you're actually going to be dealing with? Make sure to voice any questions, comments, or concerns that you might have while speaking to the roofing company on your initial phone call.
So who can you trust to take care of your roof? Well, luckily the majority of companies are going to be safe, but once again make sure they provide you with a valid license. The most important thing is making sure your roof is safe and secured using only the best materials available. You may end up paying extra for high quality service, but I think we both agree that you want your roof to last a long time.
Good luck getting your new roof installed.
Article Source:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hiring a Roofing Contractor - 4 Secrets You Should Know

It's hard to know what to look for in a roofing contractor, so here are 4 things you should know to help simplify the process of hiring the right one for you.
#1: Roofing Contractors Must be Insured
Any roofing company you hire, whether for new roofing, roofing repairs or roofing restoration, must carry insurance. First and foremost is liability insurance, which protects your property in the event it is damaged by the contractor or his employees. Any roofing company you're considering must also carry worker's compensation insurance. This insurance will protect you should one of the roofing company or one of their workers gets injured on your property. If they don't have it you may be liable. Make sure you ask any roofing contractors for proof of insurance before signing a contract or allowing work to begin. A good roofing company will expect to show proof of insurance to potential clients.
#2: Roofing Contractors Must be Licensed
In order to protect yourself any roofing company you hire should be licensed. Anyone can come in and claim to be an expert, but without a license you could potentially expose yourself to financial harm. If an injury or property damage occurs during work with an unlicensed roofing contractor, the Contractors Board cannot assist you with resolution to a complaint against that contractor. Hiring a licensed roofing company also ensures a degree of quality in that it gives you the assurance that the contractor has met the qualifications required by your state. States usually have high standards for professional roofing companies, which contractors must meet before being licensed.
#3: Roofing Contractors Should Guarantee Their Work
Most roof materials have a guarantee, but your roofing company should too. The work done by a roofing contractor, including roofing repairs and roof restoration, should be guaranteed for at least a year. Make sure the guarantee is in writing and that it includes a guarantee against leaks, defective materials, and defective workmanship. It should also detail what will be done to rectify any situation where the guarantee is not met.
#4: Roofing Contractors Should Sign a Contract for Their Work
You should ask for a signed contract from even the most reliable roofing contractors. In the contract they should specify everything from cost and payment to schedule and completion date. Make sure the project cost, including a reasonable deposit request, is in writing. And payment schedule and/or due date or timeline should also be in writing. An important item to include in the contract is roof materials and what brand specifically you have agreed upon that will be used. The contract from your roofing contractor should also include details such as cleanup during and after the project and what happens if anything unexpected occurs during the course of the project or how any change requests are handled.
Article Source:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Signs Your Roof Is Damaged - Even If You Can't See the Damage

There are several signs that signal your roof is damaged, the damage can be so small that even you, the homeowner cannot see the damage until it is too late. There are seven major danger signs that your roof system is not doing its job and protecting your home and your family from the elements:

· If you are lucky enough to spot any dark, dirty-looking patches on the roof, then it is time to replace the roof, or at least replace the dirty shingled area. The cause of this can be environmental pollution, vegetation on the roof itself, algae or/and fungus growth and possible loss of granules because of the age of your shingles.

· When you see missing, cracked, or even curling of the shingles, this is a danger sign. The obvious causes of this will be the shingles have just reached their full lifetime on the roof.

· Many homeowners complain of leaking water in there attic space after a hard rain. This is because of inadequate shingle underlayment, and flashing that has too much wear and tear.

· Your roof shingles, your sheathing on the roof and siding decay are another sign of damage to the roof that most homeowners do not notice. Homeowners can resolve this problem by making sure that the attic is properly ventilated.

· When blistering and or peeling of the paint that is on the outside of your home happens, it is most likely the cause of any excessive moisture or high humidity also due to poor attic ventilation.

· Every homeowner at one point or another have probably experienced stains on their interior ceilings, walls, or even mold and also mildew growth. The causes of this problem can be yet again faulty or problematic shingle underlayment that is allowing leakage or not enough air flow.

· Finally, homeowners are often times plagued by very high excessive energy bills. This can become very expensive and the cause of this is not enough attic air flow which causes the heating and cooling system to run more than needed.

The typical homeowner is subject to not knowing what to look for on their roof simply because they do not have the needed knowledge and most homeowners do not want to walk on their roof. Sometimes the homeowner, through no fault of their own just assume that the roof that is on their home will last for the set number of years they are told, say 20 years. But in reality, the roof is just like anything else, it needs regular maintenance and yearly inspection to ensure that the home is being protected by a sturdy and secure roof.

Homeowners that make the extra effort to learn about their roof system, how it works to protect their home and what danger signs to look for can catch a potential problem before it becomes too serious.

Article Source:

ABOVE ALL ROOFING CO. is a family owned and operated contractor located in Vacaville, California; serving the surrounding counties and the Bay Area. We are here for all your roofing needs. We specialize in everything from New Roofs, Repairs, Inspections, Maintenance, Seamless Gutters, and Insulation for Residential and Commercial properties.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Roof Moss host Tim Carter shares an easy way to keep your roof shingles free from moss, algae and mildew. With the natural wonders of copper, you'll never have to clean green scum off your roof.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Signs You Need a Roof Repair

New roofs can have common errors that lead to destruction of your roof and problems on the inside of your home. Check this video to see what errors are often made by roofing contractors.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why It's Important to Take Care of Your Roof

If you are a homeowner, you know how important home maintenance is. Your house is your biggest investment, and if you don't take care of it, you will soon find yourself confronted with run-down property and costly repairs. Home maintenance includes tasks such as cutting the grass, pulling weeds and cleaning the gutters, but it is how you take care of your roof that has the biggest impact on your home's overall quality.
Your home's roof is one of its most important assets. It takes a beating from Mother Nature season after season, and it protects your home from costly problems such as rotting, rust, leakage, flooding and drainage. Most basic roof maintenance projects can be done by the average homeowner. However, if your roof has bigger problems, you're better off contacting professional roofing repair contractors.
But how do you know which roofing repair contractors are best suited for the job? Follow our tips below to make sure you find professionals who will take excellent care of your home's most important asset. It's up to you to do your research and weed out the quality companies from those that are just looking to make a buck.
Below is a list of the most important things to look for when evaluating roofing repair contractors:
Proper licensing and insurance. Without these, you may become liable if on-the-job accidents occur. Any quality contractors will be able to produce these documents upon request.
Significant experience. Because your roof is such an important part of your home, you don't want to entrust its repair - or replacement - to a company that doesn't have much experience. Check to see how long each company has been in business to get a good idea of how much experience its roofing contractors have.
Solid company philosophy. Quality roofing repair contractors will have a strong commitment to customer service and will be dedicated to providing top-quality products, repairs and roof replacements.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating. Ask to see the company's BBB accreditation. It is probably going to be displayed somewhere on the company website, but if for some reason it's not, any company representative should be able to produce it.
Warranties. Reputable roofing repair contractors will always offer some kind of warranty on their products and services. Without this, they are not held liable for the work they do.
Article Source:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Roofing Terms M-Z

Above All Roofing has put together a list of roofing terms to help make your roofing experience a bit easier to understand! 
Above All Roofing Co. is here for all your roofing needs. We specialize in everything from New Roofs, Repairs, Inspections, Maintenance, Seamless Gutters, and Insulation for Residential and Commercial properties. We are a family owned and operated contractor located in Vacaville, California; serving the surrounding counties and the Bay Area. We have extensive knowledge, with 37 years of experience in many types of roofing systems, including Asphalt Shingles, Wood Shakes, Built-up Roofing, Tile and Slate, just to name a few. Our goal is to provide you with quality workmanship, timely service and fair pricing. Our estimates are always free.

Mansard- A roof design with a nearly vertical roof plane that ties into a roof plane of less slope at its peak. 
Mats- The general term for the base material of shingles and certain rolled products. 

Modified bitumen- Rolled roofing membrane with polymer modified asphalt and either polyester or fiberglass reinforcement. 

Mortar- Mixture of sand, mortar, limestone and water used in bonding a chimney’s bricks together.
Nail-guide-line- Painted line on laminated shingles, to aid in the proper placement of fasteners. 
Nail-pop- When a nail is not fully driven, it sits up off the roof deck. 
Nesting- Installing a second layer of shingles aligning courses with the 
original roof to avoid shingle cupping.

NRCA- The National Roofing Contractors Association. It is a respected national organization of roofing contractors.
Open valley- Valley installation using metal down the valley center. 

Organic mat- Material made from recycled wood pulp and paper. 

Organic Shingles- Shingles made from organic (paper) mats. 

OSB- Oriented Strand Board. A decking made from wood chips and lamination glues. 

Over-driven- The term used for fasteners driven through roofing material with too much force, breaking the material. 

Over-exposed- Installing shingle courses higher than their intended exposure.
Pitch-ratio of the rise of the roof to the span of the roof.

Power vents- Electrically powered fans used to move air from attics and structures.
Plastic cement- Asphalt based sealant. Also called bull, mastic, tar, asphalt cement.

Plumbing vents- Term used to describe plumbing pipes that project through a roof plane. Also called vent stacks. 

Prevailing wind
- The most common direction of wind for a particular region.
Quarter sized- Term for the size of hand sealant dabs, about the size of a U.S. 25¢ piece.
Racking- Method of installing shingles in a straight up the roof manner. 

Rake edge-The vertical edge of gable style roof planes. 

Release film- The plastic sheet installed on the back of Weather Watch® and StormGuard® underlayments. Used for packaging and handling. Remove before installation. 

Rigid vent- Hard plastic ridge vent material.

Roof louvers- Rooftop rectangular shaped roof vents. Also called box vents, mushroom vents, airhawks, or soldier vents. 

Roof plane
- A roofing area defined by having four separate edges. One side of a gable, hip or mansard roof.
Sawteeth- The exposed section of double thickness on Timberline® Series shingles. Shaped to imitate a wood shake look on the roof. 

Self-sealant- Sealant installed on shingles. After installation, heat and sun will activate sealant to seal the shingles to each other. 

Selvage- The non exposed area on rolled roofing. Area without granules. Designed for nail placement and sealant.

Shed roof- Roof design of a single roof plane. Area does not tie into any other roofs.

Shingle-Mate®- GAFMC’s shingle underlayment. Breather type with fiberglass backing to reduce wrinkles and buckles. 

Side-laps- The area on rolled material where one roll overlaps the rolled material beneath it. Also called selvage edge on rolled roofing.

- Where a vertical roof plane meets a vertical wall. The sides of dormers etc. 

Soffit ventilation
- Intake ventilation installed under the eaves, or at the roof edge.

Smart Choice® Limited Warranty- GAFMC’s standard shingle limited warranty.

Smart Choice® System Plus Limited Warranty
- GAFMC’s next grade of enhanced warranty. Extended coverage for owners.

Starter strip- The first course of roofing installed. Usually trimmed from main roof material.

Steep slope roofing- Generally all slopes higher than 4/12 are considered steep slopes. 

- Metal flashing pieces installed at side-walls and chimneys for weather-proofing.

- GAFMC waterproof underlayment. Film surfaced rolled underlayment, 1.5 squares coverage per roll.
Tab- The bottom portion of traditional shingle separated by the shingle cut-outs.

Tear-off- Removal of existing roofing materials down to the roof deck. 

Telegraphing- When shingles reflect the uneven surface beneath them. Shingles installed over buckled shingles may show some buckles. 

Timberline® Series- GAFMC’s trademark name for laminated wood shake style shingles. 

TIMBERTEX®- GAFMC enhanced Hip and Ridge Shingles. 

- When a roof plane ties into another roof plane that has a different pitch or slope.
Under-driven- Term used to describe a fastener not fully driven flush to the shingles surface.

Underlayments- Asphalt based rolled materials designed to be installed under main roofing material, to serve as added protection.
Valleys-Area where two adjoining sloped roof planes intersect on a roof creating a "V" shaped depression. 

Vapor- Term used to describe moisture laden air. 

Ventilation- The term used in roofing for the passage of air from an enclosed space.
Warm wall- The finished wall inside of a structure, used in roofing to determine how to install waterproof underlayments at eaves.
Warranty- The written promise to the owner of roofing materials for material related problems.
Waterproof underlayments- Modified bitumen based roofing underlayments. Designed to seal to wood decks and waterproof critical leak areas.
Weather Stopper® Integrated Roofing System™- GAFMC’s complete roofing system and components.
Weather Watch®- GAFMC’s granule surfaced waterproof underlayment.
Woven Valleys- The method of installing valleys by laying one shingle over the other up the valley center.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Roofing Terms A-L

Above All Roofing has put together a list of roofing terms to help make your roofing experience a bit easier to understand! 
Above All Roofing Co. is here for all your roofing needs. We specialize in everything from New Roofs, Repairs, Inspections, Maintenance, Seamless Gutters, and Insulation for Residential and Commercial properties. We are a family owned and operated contractor located in Vacaville, California; serving the surrounding counties and the Bay Area. We have extensive knowledge, with 37 years of experience in many types of roofing systems, including Asphalt Shingles, Wood Shakes, Built-up Roofing, Tile and Slate, just to name a few. Our goal is to provide you with quality workmanship, timely service and fair pricing. Our estimates are always free.

Algae- Rooftop fungus that can leave dark stains on roofing. 
Angled fasteners- Roofing nails and staples driven into decks at angles not parallel to the deck. 
APA- American Plywood Association. Tests and sets standards for all varieties of plywoods used in the U.S. 
Apron flashing- Metal flashing used at chimney fronts. 
ARMA- Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer’s Association. Organization of roofing manufacturers. 
Asphalt- A bituminous waterproofing agent used in various types of roofing materials. 
Asphalt concrete primer- Asphalt based primer used to prepare concrete and metal for asphalt sealant. 
Asphalt plastic cement- Asphalt based sealant material, meeting ASTM D4586 Type I or II. Used to seal and adhere roofing materials. Also called mastic, blackjack, roof tar, or bull.
ASTM-The American Society for Testing and Materials. Organization that sets standards for a wide variety of materials, including roofing.

Back-surfacing- Granular material added to a shingle’s back to assist in keeping separate during delivery and storage. 
Blistering- Bubbles or pimples in roofing materials. Usually moisture related. In shingles blisters are either moisture under the material or moisture trapped inside the material. 
Blow-offs- When shingles are subjected to high winds, and are forced off a roof deck. 
Buckling- When a wrinkle or ripple effects shingles or their underlayments.
Closed-cut valley- A shingle valley installation method where one roof plane’s shingles completely cover the others. The top layer is cut to match the valley lines. 
Cobra® - GAFMC’s respected brand name for ventilation products.
Corrosion- When rust, rot or age negatively affect roofing metals.
Counter-flashing-The metal or siding material that is installed over roof-top base flashing s
Country Mansion® & Country Estates™-GAFMC’s limited lifetime warranty shingle. 
Crickets- A peaked water diverter installed behind chimneys and other large roof projections. Effectively diverts water around projections. 
Cupping- When shingles are improperly installed over an existing roof or are over-exposed, they form a curl or cup.

Deck- The substrate over which roofing is applied. Usually plywood, wood boards, or planks. 
Dormer- A raised roof extending out of a larger roof plane.
Drip-edge- An installed lip that keeps shingles up off of the deck at edges, and extends shingles out over eaves and gutters, and prevents water from backing up under shingles.
Dubl-Coverage® Mineral Guard- Roll roofing material with 19" selvage edge for double coverage over roof deck.
Eaves- The roof edge from the fascia to the structure’s outside wall. In general terms, the first three feet across a roof is termed the eave.
End-laps- When installing rolled products in roofing, the area where a roll ends on a roof, and is overlapped by 
the next section of rolled material. (underlayments, rolled roofing) 
Exposure- The area on any roofing material that is left exposed to the elements.
Fasteners- Nails or staples used in securing roofing to the deck. Felt-Organic or paper-based rolled material saturated with asphalt to serve as roofing underlayment.
FHA-The Federal Housing Authority. Sets construction standards throughout the U.S. 
Fiberglass mat- Fibers condensed into strong, resilient mats for use in roofing materials. 
Flange-Metal pan extending up or down a roof slope around flashing pieces. Usually at chimneys and plumbing vents 
Flashing- Materials used to waterproof a roof around any projections through the roof deck.
Flashing cement- Sealant designed for use around flashing areas, typically thicker than plastic cement.

Gable roof- Traditional roof style; two peaked roof planes meeting at a ridge line of equal size. 
GAF-Cant®- GAFMC can’t strips for deflecting water away from flashing areas. Typically used on low slope roofs. 
Golden Pledge®- GAFMC’s strongest limited warranty for shingles. America’s strongest steep slope warranty. 
Grand Sequoia®- GAFMC shingle with wood shake appearance. 
Grand Slate™- GAFMC shingle with slate appearance. 
Granules- Crushed rock that is coated with a ceramic coating and fired. Used as top surface on shingles.
Hand-sealing- The method to assure sealing of shingles on very steep slopes, in high wind areas, and when installing in cold weather. 
High nailing- When shingles are nailed or fastened above the manufacturer’s specified nail location. 
Hip legs- The down-slope ridges on hip roofs.
Hip roof- A roof with four roof planes coming together at a peak and four separate hip legs.
Ice Dam- When a snow load melts on a roof and re-freezes at the eave areas. Ice dams force water to "back-up" a roof and cause leakage.
"L" flashing- Continuous metal flashing consisting of several feet of metal. Used at horizontal walls, bent to resemble an "L".
Laminated shingles- Shingles made from two separate pieces that are laminated together. GAFMC Timberline® Series, Country Mansion® and Grand Sequoia® Shingles. Also called dimensional shingles and architectural shingles. 
Laps- The area where roll roofing or rolled under-laments overlap one 
another during application (see also side laps and end laps).
Low slopes-Roof pitches less than 4/12 are considered low sloped roofs. Special installation