roofingA roof isn’t just shingles or tar that keeps the weather out. A roof is made of components that work together as a system. An understanding of a roofing system can benefit a property owner in discussions with a roofing contractor about roof repair or replacement.

From the outside in, a shingled roofing system consists of the shingles, the roof deck, the felt, and edge strips of aluminum or galvanized metal. These work together as a roofing system. From Palo Alto to Menlo Park, to Sunnyvale, wind, rain, and ultraviolet rays erode the roof system’s parts over time.

Water is the arch enemy of any roof. Water penetration can seep through and erode the roofing system. Once sufficiently eroded, water will penetrate and damage a building’s ceilings and walls.

Roof age is the most likely reason for water penetration and damage to any type of roof. If a person is lucky, their roof will last about 25 years. If you know it’s been up there for 20 years or more, start preparing for roof replacement. If there are dark or dirty looking areas on shingles, that’s probably attributable to granule loss. You can confirm that when you find the granules in the gutters.

Aside from age, there are other indications that a roof might be ready for repair or replacement. A roof should be inspected for loose or missing material like shingles, flashing or sealant. Those will lead to leaks. It can also be inspected from inside of the building in the attic. Look for signs of moisture, mold or rot.

Some homes have flat roofs, but they’re most often seen on commercial properties. The first sign that roofer is needed for a flat roof is a fluttering sound in the wind. That means the top coat of the flat roof has deteriorated. Ceiling leaks and wall damage will occur, just as with a shingled roof.

Flat roofs have a vapor barrier. That barrier should be very tight since the purpose of the vapor barrier is to prevent leakage. If it is split or damaged, its effectiveness will be compromised and the roof will ultimately leak.

Be it a shingled or a flat roof, don’t be afraid of asking questions of the roofing contractor. Find out when the workers will be arriving and finishing their work days. Get the name and phone number of a boss in case problems arise. Does the roofing company you contracted with do the work themselves? Do they subcontract it out to somebody you have not dealt with? Get copies of any workers compensation and liability insurance certificates. Will any permits be required for the job? Who pays for those? Will a municipal inspection be required after the work is completed?

Whether your roof is shingled or flat, if it needs repair or replacement, 70 years of excellence and experience are behind our work. It doesn’t cost anything to talk to us. We’ll be pleased to give you an estimate at no cost.