Fort Myers Roofing

Frequently Asked Roofing Questions

My roof leaks.  Do I need to have it totally replaced?

Not necessarily.  Leaking can result from damage done to a section of the roof or from flashing coming loose.  A roof failure, however, is generally irreversible and result from improper installation or choice of materials, or from the installation of a roof system inappropriate to the building.

How should I prepare for the installation of my new roof?

You should remove all loose items from your walls and shelves.  The constant hammering may cause enough vibration to shake these items down.  Make sure you have your driveway clear as well as the areas surrounding your home.  This is because of the chance that material from the tear off could fall in the driveway or the area directly around your home.  This will also give your contractor a place to store the material for your new roof as well as a place for the dumpster.  Make sure the contractor puts plywood down in the driveway to protect it.

How long does it take to replace a roof?

Re-roof or new construction all depends on the type of roof, the weather, and the inspections needed.  Generally for a small family home it can take a few days to large commercial projects that can take a few weeks to a few months.  As long as your contractor manages the project closely and efficiently, the project should move smoothly.

How long should a roof last?

Like any building component, roofs degrade at different rates depending on a large number of factors:  the quality of original construction, the level of abuse, the level of maintenance, appropriateness of design, etc.  So how long should a roof last?  We have seen poorly designed and installed roofs go as few as six or seven years before they failed, and we have seen old coal tar built up roofs that were 60 years old.  Most building owners, roofing contractors and designers feel 20 years is an acceptable service life.  Please keep in mind that in the hot Florida climate most roofing systems do not last as long as they do in other climates.  Make sure when choosing your roof, you ask what the service life is in Florida, you might be surprised to find that a lot of them do not last for the full warranty and manufactures warranties

What is a roofing underlayment?

A roofing underlayment is typically a membrane that goes under the roof covering to help prevent water intrusion.  One type of  underlayment comes in rolls and is laid out across the roof and attached with ring shank nails or simplex nails this is called 30#.  Another type of underlayment is adhered directly to the deck of the roof; this is considered by many insurance companies as Secondary Water Barrier and is called Peel & Stick.  However in Miami-Dade County you can not apply this directly to the deck, you must first use a nailed (30#) underlayment and then the Peel & Stick underlayment.  Most insurance companies will not give Secondary Water Barrier credit for Peel & Stick that is not direct to deck.  Your underlayment is the one piece of the complete roof system that is solely designed to be the water proofing for your roof.  This is true for all roofs except metal roofing where the metal is actually the water proof component, with extra protection from the underlayment.

Can I do my roofing work myself, or should I hire a contractor?

Most roofing work should not be done yourself.  Manufactures generally will not give a warranty if you do not have a professional roofer install the product.  Professionals are trained to handle the environment on the roof and can handle the conditions that may present themselves when doing a roofing job.  The dangers to a homeowner with trying to do your own roof work could be a lot more expensive than just hiring a roofing professional to come out and do the work.

What can I do about mildew on my roof?

When your roof gets dirty there are several solutions that you can go with.  One of the safest and least expensive ways to go is to use a product called roof a cide.  This is an environment friendly product that you have installed on your roof every two years.  This product has a two year warranty that guarantees your roof will stay clean for that period of time.  This solution should be done by a qualified contractor as well and the warranty will not be given if it is not done by one of roof a cides installers.  Once you have had this product sprayed on your roof, you should not ever have to clean it again.

Can I cover over my existing roof?

Installing a new roof over the top of an existing roof is generally acceptable under these guidelines: 1) A building can not have more than two roofs: 2) No wet insulation can be left in place: 3) the roof structure must be able to handle the additional roof load: 4) the new roof must be attached to the roof deck to meet wind loads (it is not generally acceptable to adhere the new roof to the old roof).

How many roofs can I put on?

Most building codes allow a structure to have two roof membranes in place, but not a third.  The codes are also now requiring all roof layers to be removed once the two roof limit has been reached, when looking to install the third roof.

When is the best time to put a new roof on?

This question could be interpreted two ways, so we will answer each question.

1)      In Florida there really is no “bad time” to install a new roof.  As we all know it rains periodically through the year and rainy season is always.  So as a roofer we always watch the weather and pray for no rain until the underlayment is down and secure.

2)      The question might be put this way: “How do I know when my roof has failed?”  Different types of roofs fail in different ways.

  • Does the roof leak in numerous locations?
  • Do leaks continue, despite repeated repair attempts?
  • Do repairs seem to make leaks worse, or do new leaks develop after rain?
  • How tolerant is the occupancy to leaks? Low leak tolerance generally means the “failure” decision is reached earlier.  It is generally better to reroof at the appropriate juncture, rather than poring money and time into ill advised repairs, but there are exceptions.

How can a homeowner recognize when a roof has problems?

All too often, roof problems are discovered after leaking or other serious damage occurs.  Periodic (twice a year) inspections can often uncover cracked, warped, or missing shingles, loose seams and deteriorated flashings, excessive surface granules accumulating in the gutters or downspouts, and other visible signs of roof problems.  Indoors, look for cracked paint, discolored plasterboard, and peeling wallpaper as signs of damaged roof areas.

What are my options if I decide to reroof?

You have two basic options.  You can choose a complete replacement of the roof system, involving tearing off the old system, or you can do a recover over the existing roof, involving going over the existing roof.  If you have already had one recover then you can not go over the existing roof.

What is the best roof?

Wouldn’t it be simple if there was one answer to all roofing problems?  Unfortunately there is no magic pill in the roofing market that solves all roofing problems.  What the market does offer is a wide selection of good products, each having attributes and faults.  The key to selecting the proper roof system is to identify the specific roof design of your building and how each roof system works to meet the requirements.

What will a new roof cost?

The price of a new roof all depends on the type of material you select, weather you are removing the old roof or not, the type of underlayment, the price of the permit and so on.  Make sure that you get at least three estimate if you believe that the cost is high.  However, be sure that if one person comes in higher than the other that you ask the right questions about the type of material being used and the reputation of the company, just because it is cheaper does not mean that it is better.  Sometimes the higher priced contractor is the one you want to go with because of their reputation as a well known contractor and because of the quality of the material they are using.

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