We want to start with a little disclaimer. While it might appear we’re using this blog as a therapy session, our intentions are good, and simply want to educate anyone considering undertaking a complete roof overhaul or roof repair.
Now we’ve settled that, we can begin!
With so many roofing companies out there, who do you choose? It can be a daunting task for homeowners, having to compare roofing companies based on the images they have on their website, or the recommendations they’ve received. In truth, you could be forgiven for thinking they all sound the same – or at least the ones that are reputable that is.
Now when you think about it from the company’s perspective, there is more competition than ever to win projects. This puts pressure on multiple areas of the business, whether that’s a sales team trying to squeeze prices as low as possible, asking for favourable rates from suppliers, and making sure teams are completing jobs as efficiently as possible.
But if we had the chance, what would a roofing company like to explain to their customers?
Well, this is our opportunity to dive into some of the things customers should know before they contact a roofing company.
Don’t drive a hard bargain
We had to start with this one. Driving the price down of any household maintenance is commonplace, but it’s important to understand when it’s the right time to reduce costs.
Not all roofing work is the same.
If you were to buy a new set of wheels for your car, would you simply settle on a provider that sold you “wheels” at the lowest price? Of course you wouldn’t. You’d look into the efficient of the wheels, the brand name, the reputation the company has, and much more. Not all wheels are made the same, which is a sentiment echoed by roofing.
Cheaper pricing doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be getting the same quality finish or a similar level of service. In fact, you could be left with a roof that won’t stand the test of time, due to poor materials or poor workmanship, which in the long-run could end up costing you more money!
Look for a builder that is knowledgeable about the job at hand, something which will become evident as soon as they’ve inspected what needs to be done. They’ll also have no problem in transparent pricing, showing that the reason for having slightly increased pricing is in fact down to higher quality materials being used, and more experienced staff working on your project.
The worst thing that could happen is a roof needing to be replaced following substandard performance that has led to damage elsewhere in the home. By inviting a select few roofing companies to evaluate your job, you’ll get a feel for what’s required and be able to compare costs. Don’t be hesitant to ask for a break-down of those costs, it could separate the most reputable companies from the cowboys.
Maintenance can solve many problems
If you notice something has changed on your roof, ask a roofing specialist to come and see what the issue is. Sound almost too easy? Well, that’s everything you need to do to ensure your roof is properly maintained.
We realise that some types of damage can be easier to see than others, but if you spot any signs that your roof may have an issue, such as your heating bill going up, moisture problems throughout the house, or its physical appearance changing, simply asking a professional to review the situation can prevent any further damage.
In fact, roofing companies can offer routine maintenance that is sure to flag up any potential problems, at which point you have an expert on site that can accurately identify the extent of what needs solving.
Regular maintenance will extend the life of your roof significantly, something that is of particular importance if the property is being rented out or used commercially.
Sometimes maintenance just isn’t enough
Repairs are worth considering when the damage isn’t significant, or is confined to a small area. When it goes beyond this, you should look at the underlying reasons why the roof might need to be repaired.
In the early stages of your roof’s lifetime, repairs may also be relatively cost effective, as it’s been made using the latest materials or practices. In contrast, if your roof is nearing the end of its life cycle, it could turn into a money pit.
Here are some issues to look out for when considering if your roof is worth repairing or not:
- Water damage. If you notice significant water patches on the upper floors of your home, it could be the result of a water seeping through your roof, with the potential to cause damage or other issues to your home, such as mould and water marks.
- Sometimes mould can appear in homes during particularly wet weather, or if you live in a new build house for example, that might still be in the process of settling. However if you look at your roof from the outside of your house and spot green patches of mould or moss growth, it can be a sign of damage to your tiles.
- Again, this is easy to notice when you look at your roof from outside of your home. Each set of tiles will follow a particular line, that should remain straight for decades. If you notice a dip in the middle, or ‘sagging’, it can be an indication that your roof has some structural damage.
There are other signs that maintenance may not be enough to save your roof, however in our experience these three are the most common, and should result in some serious consideration on whether a new roof is required.
Understand the issues with older homes
The way that homes are built is constantly changing, with more energy efficient practices being brought into their design, and cost efficiency at the heart of every decision made by a developer.
However when it comes to older homes, sometimes it can be difficult to assess the impact replacing a roof will have. Depending on the age of the property, the building may have issues supporting roofs with a modern design.
Of course, this should be uncovered at an early stage when a roofing contractor is assessing the job and putting a quote together, but in essence it’s hard to predict what is going to be found until the roof begins being stripped apart. At which point, the full extent of the task at hand is revealed.
Being open to discussions with a roofing specialist is important, as they will want to make sure a quality job is done without compromising on materials.
There’s a world of roofing materials out there. Some you should categorically avoid, whilst others will be perfect for the job at hand.
By far the most popular is interlocking roof tiles, often made using a combination of tiles and shingles. These are highly cost effective due to their high volume nature, but can be susceptible to cracking during extreme changes in temperature or if they encounter any damage – resulting in potential damage to internal structure.
Common amongst more expensive homes, is a slate tile roof. The sleek appearance that they provide, alongside the benefits of a regular roof make this an attractive option. But caution needs to be taken, slate is often heavy, and may need more internal support.
Metal roofing is making somewhat of a comeback in the roofing industry, and with over 50 years of expected lifetime with minimal maintenance, the benefits of a metal roof make an appealing argument. However, this can lead to higher installation costs.
As for other materials that are available, the most common is rolled roofing. It’s essentially a sheet of asphalt instead of tiles, that is easy to install and low cost. However it’s not a long-term replacement option, and is often only used on smaller spaces such as sheds.
Look at examples of previous work
Finally, make sure you look at examples of previous work in person. As good as photos are nowadays, as many customers have rightly pointed out, the images have been taken directly after the roof has been installed. So of course it’s going to look great!
The real test is to ask a roofing specialist if you can go and view one of their completed jobs 12 months or longer after installation, as this will highlight any issues and show you what the roof will look like after settling in.
Your Professional Roofing Company
AD Booth & Sons Ltd have been in the business of domestic roofing for over half a century.
Our family-run business has been built on a mixture of communication and transparency topped with great pride in our customer support. It’s our aim to exceed your expectations.
Whether you’re looking for a complete roofing overhaul or require maintenance, give the team of experts at AD Booth & Son Ltd a call today. We have a wealth of experience, which has enabled us to grow into the highly professional company we are today, without losing our traditional core values for a high standard of service with total customer satisfaction.
Give us a call on 01782 621 636 today for a free, no-obligation quote for commercial and domestic roofing.