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commonly asked roofing questions

A trustworthy roofing contractor can easily determine if a roof replacement is actually required. That’s the easy part. What is often difficult, is finding the right company so you can get an honest answer. That is why more and more homeowners are working with consultants these days. The most commonly asked roofing questions we deal with involve roof replacement concerns.

The following conditions may indicate that it’s time for a shingle roof replacement:

  • If you have missing shingles at multiple locations, or have experienced a significant hail storm in your area, it may be time for a new roof. Keep in mind, quite often it is difficult to visually inspect all roof facets from the ground. There may be wind or hail damage that can only be observed by actually getting up on the roof.
  • Thermal splitting and excessive degranulation, are sign of defective products. Unless these conditions are isolated, a full roof replacement will be required.
  • When shingles are high nailed or the nails installed are overdriven, this will lead to significant problems. Installation errors such as these are the leading cause of roof system failures.
  • Cupping is a distortion that occurs in asphalt shingles, aging is the number one reason for this defect. Organic mat based shingles are more prone to cupping. Fiberglass mat based shingles are the industry standard today, and as they age curling of the edges is a sign that they are very aged.

There are a few different ways to tell that your roof is in need of repairs or a replacement. An important step would include an outside visual of your roof to look for wind damage. Or perhaps you’ve noticed shingles lying in your yard. Loose shingles that are lifting during wind events would be another sign that the integrity of your roof system is indeed compromised.

After moderate storms, look for the presence of watermarks and roof leaks. And don’t forget to look inside closets and other areas not frequently used.

Some of the most commonly asked roofing questions have to do with hail claims.

Significant hail damage is not easy to spot from your yard. And if you’re inexperienced with the proper usage of ladders, its best to stay off of a roof. Look for hail damage to metal trim, downspouts and vinyl or metal siding instead. This can be safely performed from the ground.

If you notice watermarks on your ceilings or walls, then it’s truly time to take action before the problems intensify. These stains are caused by water intrusion usually from a damaged or poorly installed roof.

However, windows, siding and flashing defects may also be the cause of interior leakage. Also consider an inspection after every significant storm event.

Often times not all of the roof slopes are visible from the ground. As well, there are many instances wherein there is water intrusion that occurs within a wall. This is especially true when it comes to plumbing vent flashings that have failed, or have been damaged by squirrels.

These venting systems are concealed within the interior walls of a structure. In this instance it can take some time for the leakage to be noticed on an interior wall or ceiling.

When it comes to roof repairs, there are a few factors to consider before making significant investments. The age of your roof will always be one of those aspects. It all comes down to effective roof asset management. Without a doubt the most commonly asked roofing questions have to deal with roofing repairs.

If you have any of the following roofing issues, repairs are required.

  • Shingles are missing from the field or hips and ridges. The end result of not replacing missing or damaged shingles, is usually a roof leak.
  • Flashings at chimneys or walls are loose or missing.
  • Presence of water on your plumbing vent pipes, or at ceilings or internal walls where they are located. This is the cause of a failed plumbing vent flashing, or damage to the same by squirrels.
  • Leakage from behind fascia or gutters. The cause of this may be the lack of a drip edge, or gutters that are no longer firmly attached to fascia boards.
  • Stains on any of the interior walls or ceiling of the home are usually the result of problems associated with the roof assembly. However the source of the leak may also originate from siding or windows.

There are quite a few roofing problems that usually go unnoticed by home and business owners. Here are a few of the most common ones.

  • When the factory seal has been compromised, this will cause shingles to lift during wind events. If these loose shingles are not re-sealed or replaced, there is a good chance they will become displaced or blown off the roof.
  • Exposed fasteners should always be caulked, otherwise they can rust and eventually cause a roof leak.
  • Soft or spongy roof decking signifies water infiltration. A lot of times these types of leaks go unnoticed, especially if the problem is at the overhang of a building.
  • Nail pops are common on roofs that have two layers of shingles. Nail that have punctured or pushed through a shingle usually result in a leaky roof.

From start to finish, here is a helpful list to help ensure that what is wrong with your roof is fixed right.

  • A trusted repair technician is a priority; blind faith just won’t cut it.
  • You must obtain an accurate scope of work outlining the project in detail.
  • Photo documented inspection reports enable you to see the defects without having to get on the roof.
  • Be confident that the price your paying for roof repairs is fair. Please note, we didn’t say cheap!
  • Before and after photos are always best

There are probably as many roof repair options as there are roof types. If your brick chimney is leaking there may be loose flashings or perhaps no flashings at all. A small leak in the field of an asphalt shingle roof could be the result of a nail that has punctured through a shingle.

A roof consultant that is skilled and knowledgeable will inspect your roof and provide you with a detailed report itemizing all roof repairs that may be required. Some contractors may only provide you with a price and pressure you to quickly sign a contract.

A trained roofing consultant will work towards providing solution options that are in your best interest. Also real professionals don’t rely on aggressive and annoying hard-selling tactics. Instead, the focus is on providing clients with correct and useful information.

The following commonly asked roofing questions, and answers, are helpful to establish a general guideline for repair prices.

Keep in mind the answers will vary depending on the age and complexity of a particular roof.

What do roofing companies charge for small repairs?

On average residential roof repair contractors charge home owners between $395.00 and $1,200.00 for roof repairs. A lot of larger roofing companies have a minimum service charge for any repair that is completed. A consumer can expect to spend around $395.00 for most minor roof repairs.

A minor roof repair costing $395.00 would include fixing the following roofing issues:

  • Remove and replace two squirrel damaged lead plumbing vents
  • Install up to 20 ft. of missing ridge cap
  • Repair shingles that have nail pops (approximately 10-15 shingles)

What might I expect to pay for a larger repair?

A moderate sized roof repair priced at $1,200.00 would include replacing the following:

  • Remove and replace shingles in two valleys that were installed incorrectly (up to 40 ft.)
  • Install reglet mounted metal flashing to a medium sized brick chimney
  • Install a new Velux 4 ft. x 4 ft. skylight, complete with a new flashing kit

Usually on older roofs it would be a poor investment to spend more than 10% of the replacement cost on repairs.

Your roof might only require basic repairs to restore its integrity which will minimize unexpected roofing costs in the future. However, a good roof analysis will also determine if a full roof replacement is a better course of action.

The question often arises, does my roofing system require periodic maintenance?

Extreme weather events in Jacksonville FL are common. High winds, hail storms and significant temperature variations all take a toll on asphalt shingle roofs. Most consumables such as cars, furnaces, and air conditioning units require maintenance; roofs are no different. All of these products have a useful service life, however without maintenance the life span decreases dramatically.

A roof consultation to uncover maintenance and or repair requirements should be performed annually. Also, depending on the age of the roof system and type of materials used, a roof inspection may be required after each significant storm event.

Even clogged gutters can take a toll on your roof system, as they won’t drain away rain properly.  This can lead to damages to fascia boards and soffits, as well as ground erosion due to plugged up downspouts.

Roofing FAQs: Roof System Types – Understanding the Basics

Standing seam roof systems are only gaining in popularity. The reasons in part, are due to excellent wind uplift and fire rating characteristics. Also, the life span of these roofs can exceed 40 years. Compared to asphalt shingles, standing seam roofs are much more durable and thus longer lasting.

As the name suggests, a standing seam refers to raised seams that are built into each metal panel. Metal panels are placed on buildings so that the raised seams run vertically following the slope of the roof in which they are installed. Because of the design in which the fasteners are concealed or covered, water infiltration between panels is all but eliminated.

Standing seams may be protected from water infiltration by having the seams mechanically folded over by means of an onsite power tool. Others are protected from the elements by installing a cap that snaps in place over the adjoining raised seams of two panels


Metal roofs are a durable and attractive alternative to traditional asphalt shingles. When installed correctly the lifespan of many of these roof systems can far exceed less expensive options. There are quite a few different types of metal roof systems available, and the costs will vary greatly. The average costs for a complete metal roof installation project, will range between $450.00 and $1,400.00 per square.

Keep in mind, roof measurements are typically expressed in squares; one square equals 100 square feet.

Here are some examples of the average costs for popular new metal roofs; labor and materials are included.

  • Corrugated galvanized steel panels: $300.00 to $400.00 per square
  • Metal shingles with a granular coating: $650.00 to $900.00 per square
  • Standing seam metal roofs: $950.00 to $1,400.00 per square
  • Copper roof systems: $1500.00 to $2,000.00 per square

When searching for metal roof replacement contractors, you want the best workmanship available. Quality matters, and costs are also an important consideration.

However, there are so-called cost saving installation methods that may benefit the contractor much more than the building owner.

There are a few commonly asked roofing questions that just aren't answered truthfully. Questions about placing metal products over asphalt shingles is high on the list.

Installing metal roofing products directly over existing shingles will absolutely save a roofing company a lot of money. They will have minimized their labor costs, and disposal fees are also eliminated.

If you're considering a contractor that wants to install a metal roof over your existing shingles, perhaps you need to look elsewhere.

Barrier coatings on various metal products, are applied to deprive the metal of the catalyst that will corrode it, which is moisture. Underpayments are also required when installing metal roofing systems to protect them from corrosion.

Metal products installed over shingles is never advised for the following reasons:

  • Shingles, and or other granular underlayment products, will expand and contract at different rates compared to metal products.
  • Also, oftentimes there is trapped water within existing asphalt roof shingles.
  • The expansion and contraction of the newly installed metal roofing can cause the underlying materials to act like a belt sander.
  • This will slowly wear away the underside of the metal panels, allowing for unwanted corrosion to occur.
  • Also, deteriorated decking will not be addressed unless all existing roofing materials are first removed.

A lot of consumers mistakenly assume that three-tab shingles are the most economical choice. What they don’t consider is the lifespan differential between entry line and architectural shingles.

In the U.S market there are many different types and styles of asphalt shingles. And the performance characteristics and costs between an entry level strip shingle and a tri-laminate will vary greatly.

  • A three tab, or strip shingle is distinguished by two cutouts extending up near to the center portion of the horizontal sealing strip.
  • Three-tab shingles are fairly light, relatively inexpensive, and thus very popular with budget minded consumers. However, they have a lifespan (if installed correctly with adequate ventilation) of 13 to 17 years.
  • The wind rating for this type of shingle is 60  M.P.H, and this will decrease with age.
  • Average cost for a simple gable roof using a three-tab shingle would be $350.00 per square.

Next on the list is a much more attractive and durable choice.

  • A laminated or architectural style shingle can last up to 30 years.
  • Average cost for a simple gable roof using an architectural shingle would be $385.00 per square.
  • The wind rating for an architectural shingle is 110 to 130 M.P.H.

From a lifetime cost analysis perspective, the entry level three-tab product is not really a budget friendly choice.

  •  Consider a 2,000 sq. ft. home with a new three-tab shingle roof. The average yearly cost is $466.00 per year, (based upon an estimated service life of 15 years).
  •  However, a 2,000 sq. ft. home with a new architectural shingle roof has an average yearly cost of $256.00 per year. Also, the useful service life is usually close to 30 years

Factor in the inflated cost of a new roof at year 15, and it becomes very clear which choice is a better investment.

Mid-weight, heavy-weight and tri-laminates are other choices for consumers who want a rich cedar or slate looking roof system.

  • Consumers who purchase these deluxe designer shingles can expect to pay $450.00 to $650.00 per square on average.

Roof Contractor FAQS – Roofing Inspections and Consulting

How important are periodic roof inspections? This question gets asked a lot. After reading this article the answer should clearly be answered in the affirmative.

The goal for most sales reps is simply to sell you a new roof or a costly repair.

However, a roof consultant has a duty to protect your best interests. A trustworthy consultant will assist a building owner with roof asset management. The first step towards achieving this goal would involve an accurate assessment of your entire roof system.

There are many factors that may contribute to roof leaks and the need for roof replacements. The age of your roof is always one of those aspects. The older the roof, the more likely it is that a roof repair contractor will be required at some point.

That is why preventative maintenance is a key consideration with regards to prolonging the life expectancy of any roof system. Weather conditions in your area can also have a large impact on the durability and lifespan of various roofing products.

During an initial roof inspection, a trained professional will identify and make you aware of any current or pre-existing problems. With the correct information, you will then be able to make an informed decision. Proper diagnostics will determine what services should actually be performed and at what intervals.

If several years have passed since the last time you had a roof inspection performed, don’t delay in contacting a roofing service professional.

Weather happens; we have no control over it.  However a proactive approach is a much better option than simply reacting to problems as they arise. This is especially true if maintenance and minor repairs can prevent one from having to deal with unnecessary expenses down the road.


An Honest roof consultant has a duty to protect your best interests.

Roof asset management starts with an accurate assessment of your entire roof system.

Allocating funds towards prolonging the service life of a roof may be a wise investment. On the other hand, investing in costly roof repairs that will only buy a little time does not.

Some contractors will try and convince you to replace your roof even if repairs are the best option. Others will focus on expensive repairs just to make a quick buck. So unless you have an ongoing relationship with a trusted roofing contractor, hiring a roof inspector is usually a better option.

A professional roofing consultant will always protect your best interests, it’s just what they do.

Consumers should only receive recommendations for roof replacements if repairs are not a cost-effective option.

It is important to determine the useful service life of a roof system. With this information decisions on whether to maintain, repair or replace can be easily made.

A proper roof assessment requires a detailed real-time analysis that is photo-documented. This is what a roof consultant will provide you with. Also, when the correct data is presented the guesswork is eliminated.

Finding professional roofing contractors who operate with integrity is difficult these days but there are trustworthy companies that take pride in their work. The key is how to distinguish between the best roofing company, and a con artist?

There are several choices available to consumers who are looking for quality roofing services. However, like most politicians, many polished salesmen have little to no concern for doing the right thing; they simply over promise and fail to deliver.

As we see it, there are really only two options available when it comes to choosing the best of the best.

The first option is employed by most people who are basically trusting by nature. They will pick a few contractors, and then choose the one with the best sales pitch, or perhaps the lowest price. More often than not these individuals will end up regretting their impulsive decision that will inevitably turn out to be a bad investment.

The second option is utilized by informed individuals who have both the time and ability to properly scrutinize roofing contractors. They usually have some sort of list of required attributes that their contractor must possess.


Topping the list for commonly asked roofing questions has to deal with understanding the benefits or hiring a roofing consultant.

When building owners understand the estimated useful service life of a roof system, replacement budgets can be properly planned for. Also, appropriate maintenance and or roof repair programs can be established to protect those roof assets.

After consulting with a Jacksonville roof consultant clients are then empowered to:

  • Fully comprehend roofing life cycle costs
  • Understand what information must be included in any contract
  • Make choices for roofing services based on photo-documented real time data
  • Establish definite project expectations
  • Choose the best roofing contractor

A roofing consultant is committed to providing their client’s with effective Roof Asset Management protection.

Very few contractors today explain the actual total cost of a new roof system and focus solely on the replacement price. It is important to consider the initial replacement price along with repairs, roof maintenance, warranties, life expectancy and inflation.

There are quality roofing companies available that are trustworthy. However, many contractors provide their potential customers with biased or misleading information regarding their true roofing requirements. Roof consultants provide a clear picture of what services are actually needed. Their goal is not to convince you to replace your roof if repairs or maintenance are all that is necessary.