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With 25 years of experience in all aspects of local roofing I thought a quick “Q + A” might prove of some value to our site visitors. Please, feel free to contact me for further discussion regarding the questions below or if you have any other roofing questions and, please remember, all questions are cheerfully answered.

Q- How do I know if I need a new roof or just a leak repair?
A- It is usually a good idea to consider a new roof at about the time when your roofing material warranty gets near to its expiration date. On the other hand, if your roof has been recently installed and may have suffered damages ( ice damming, wind, fallen branches/trees, etc. ) or if it has a few good years left on it before the warranty expiration date but is leaking in the vicinity of “trouble” areas ( vents, skylights, chimneys, valleys, etc. ) then a repair can often times be your best answer.

Q- What do you mean by “warranty expiration date” and how do I know what this date is for my roof?
A- Roofing materials come with industry standard warranties as to their expected lifetime, with 30, 40, 50 year warranties being the most common for the asphalt composite roofing materials
( “shingles” ) that are installed on the ‘sloped/pitched’ roofs in our area, today.
10-20 year expiration warranties are standard for the materials ( EPDM, Bitumen, etc. ) that are installed on most of our area’s flat roofs, today.
note- from 1950-1990, the standard asphalt roofing “shingle” installed in our area was called the “20yr 3-tab” and had a life expectancy/warranty of 20 years, so it is important to know what roofing shingle covers your roof today in order to make an informed decision.

Q- What if I don’t know what type of shingles I have on my roof or, I don’t know how long ago they were installed?
A- No worries. Now is the time to contact a reputable local roofing contractor for a thorough roof examination and appraisal ( “estimate” ) so that you will be better informed on how to proceed.
note- make sure your contractor offers a free estimate

Q- I think that I need a new roof installed but am fighting this recession and would prefer not to tear off the old one to do it, can I put new shingles over the ones that I have up there already?
A- Glad you asked and, believe me, you are not alone. The answer to this question is usually a “yes” but requires a couple of conditions to be met before a definitive answer can be given. Number 1, is “how many roofs, or layers, do you have up there now?”
Number 2, is “will the structural integrity of your roof decking and supports ( rafters, joists, headers, etc ) be maintained through the installation of another roof layer?”
Number 3, “is the roof that is up there, now, in good enough shape so that a new roof installed on top of it will look great?” ( remember, your roof needs to be weatherproof but should also look great ).