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Builder grade roofs are sometimes installed without the best attention to detail in areas where leaks may occur most often. The places where pipes or walls penetrate through the roof are often the first to leak because the builders contractor may not have installed the flashing appropriately. The shingles themselves may fail prematurely without proper attic ventilation. Many roofs installed on new homes in the Atlanta area experience leaks within the first ten years. Its unfortunately quite common.
Roof leaks often take months or even years to slowly seep in. First they rot the wood in the immediate vicinity of the roof, in the attic, and then the water may eventually find its way all of the way into the interior of the house in heavy rain conditions. Roof leaks are often detected long after they began, and may not be close to the area of initial water penetration due to the way water runs and travels along the various surfaces in the attic, walls and ceilings of the house.
Deciding if its worth repairing vs replacing a roof depends largely on two factors.
1. The age of the roof.
2. The quality of the installation of the roof.
If the roof is approaching 20 years of age, it may be time to consider replacing it rather than fixing leaks as they start to spring up.
If the roof is leaking frequently and it is less than 10 years old, a roofer should examine the quality of the installation. If it is installed well, and the the leak is isolated, it may be ok to repair only as needed. If it is discovered that there are major flaws built into the way to roof was put on, then leaks may become a recurring issue. This is a major consideration to go ahead with replacement sooner than later.
Yes, sometimes the roof leak may allow water into the house along the edge, and then the water may travel down along vertical walls, rather that hitting a ceiling directly. Sometimes the leaks on walls however can also be caused by problems with the brick, siding or stucco façade on the home. A thorough inspection and process of elimination may be necessary to solve the roof leak.
A roofer should provide a comprehensive quote. However, there are some items which are unknown until the work begins and the underside of the roof can be exposed. If the wood under the roof shingles and felt has begun to rot, it will need to be replaced before the new materials can be installed. This wood repair is usually an additional charge, unless the quote included a set number of wood repairs.
A roof is a lot more than shingles. And usually a roof leak is not caused because of a direct failure of the shingles themselves (unless they were literally blow off the roof or became dislodged). A roof leak us usually caused by an issue where something (like a vent pipe, wall, or chimney) penetrates through the roof line, and the flashing meant to bridge the gap between the protrusion and the roof line fails. That's why its common to have roof leaks around chimneys, vent pipes, antennas installed on the roof, and any other item that comes up through the roof. If not installed correctly, a leak can happen fairly quickly, but it may take time for the stains to appear inside the home. This means the leak may occur for a long period of time before you become aware of it.
First, you are not alone! We receive a call like this every so often. There can be a long period of dry weather, and then we receive a call from a client who thinks they've just spotted a roof leak in their house. So what's going on when this happens? There are several possibilities.
1. There is a plumbing pipe which may be leaking in the ceiling.
2. There is condensation happening somewhere above the ceiling, perhaps in the attic, which is collecting and then leaking into the house. This can happen at the change of a season when the temperature differentials are most pronounced between the inside and outside of a home.
3. There really was a roof leak (at some point in the past), and you only noticed it now. Its what we call an in-active leak because there is no water flowing into the home at that moment, but you are noticing the damage caused from when it rained and leaked previously.
4. A bathtub of shower could have flooded and leaked to the floor below.
5. An air conditioner condensation pipe is blocked and is backing up into the house and leaking somewhere.
This is why Dr Roof's experts diagnosticians are so important. They start by eliminating the possible causes to try and solve the problem for you - even if its nothing to do with the roof!
New Roofs - Roof Replacements
Great question! The answer is that a roof is a complex system of very detailed parts, that if installed too fast can result in mistakes and roof leaks down the road. So, it should take some time to install a roof with the attention to detail it needs. That said, if a large crew is completing the work, it can be completed in a relatively short period of time - many hands make light work. If a crew of a smaller size is installing the roof it may take a bit longer. Of course, the size of the roof matters too. A roof of 20 square or less typically takes 1 to 2 days. Anything over 20 square in size can take 2 to 5 days depending on the maximum size of the roof and complexity.
It is certainly in the thousands, if not tens of thousands - depending on the size of the roof. Not to mention that when the old roof is removed, all those nails are removed too! None are reused. Roofers have to work hard to ensure when disposing of the old roof that all the nails that come off are properly cleaned up from the yard and disposed of. Its a tedious but necessary step and magnets are a roofers best friend. It certainly helps to have the lawn cut before removing an old roof, so the magnets can better reach any nails that may fall in the yard.
Luckily, in Georgia, we don't have very many days where the temperature becomes a challenge for installing a new roof. Therefore it is one of several states where roofing happens all year round, and it is common for roofs to be replaced any time of year.
The cost to replace a roof on a home is highly variable. It depends on the size of the roof (how many square feet), the pitch of the roof (the angle of the steepness), how high up the roof is (one, two, or three story home, and what type of shingle is being installed. Each estimate is custom to the house and the desired products. That said, the average roof replacement is between $8,000 and $15,000. It is a big range of course, and some roofs are less ($5,000 for example) and some very large roofs can be much more ($25,000 to $80,000+). Because the cost is highly variable, Dr Roof offers free estimates for new roof installs.
The difference between a roof with three tab shingles and architectural shingles is more that just aesthetic. Yes, they do look different - and your choice can be made based on this alone - but is it important to understand they are physically different in thickness to each other. What does the difference in thickness mean to you practically when choosing what roof to install? The thicker the shingle, the longer the manufacturer will warranty the shingle for. A three tab shingle is warrantied for 25 years typically (some shingle manufacturers make a version that goes to 30 years). While an architectural shingle is warrantied for "life" - which is 50 years or so practically speaking. It is something to consider when speaking with your roofer.
Storm Damage and Insurance
Insurance companies are obligated to replace your roof for you if it sustains hail damage which causes enough damage to the shingles. Hail knocks off granules from the shingles resulting in exposing the roof to possible leaks. Dr Roof can inspect the roof and let you know if there is enough damage to warrant contacting your insurance company to come and inspect the roof. The insurance company ultimately is the final decider on whether or not they consider it enough hail damage to warrant replacing your roof, but Dr Roof will advocate for you if we believe in our expert opinion that enough damage exists.
Generally, your homeowners insurance policy will provided you with an initial settlement amount to replace your roof. This initial amount and scope provided by insurance usually does not meet requirements according to building code and manufacturer guidelines.
To correct the initial insurance settlement which is missing items, Dr. Roof requests a supplement for the specific items Dr. Roof has determined are missing from the initial insurance settlement.
This is in order to ensure a roof is installed with ALL required components.
After all, if your car was totaled in an accident, would you accept the insurance company putting your old car's tires on your new car? Never! A new roof has many pieces and components, such as flashings and starter shingles, which often get neglected. Your new roof from day one is only as good as the oldest component. Dr Roof goes to bat for you and files a supplement to make sure ALL of the roof's key components are updated when the roof is replaced.
The risk is that you will have a substandard roof installed, missing vital components; all because the roofer did not take the time to identify missing items and supplement the insurance company for them.
The roofer who does not file a supplement is usually not a quality roofer and is in the business for a quick buck.
Cutting corners in roofing almost inevitably will result in roof leaks within a couple of years after the roof is replaced. That's not what should happen with a new roof!
Usually, both before and after the roof is replaced according to code and manufacturer guidelines, Dr. Roof will send photos as proof of the missing items from the initial insurance settlement to the insurance company.
The insurance company will review the request and approve supplemented for items.
The insurance company will revise its Roof Replacement settlement and send you a payment reflecting the updated amount.
After you receive the checks from your insurance company, you will forward the amount to Dr. Roof.
You receive the best quality roof possible and only pay your deductible, upgrade options and plywood repairs out of your pocket, while insurance covers the rest according to your policy.
How does a roofer know?
There is no school or college in Atlanta which trains or teaches roofers on how to be roofers. It is a learned skill, either from an "internship" or learned on the fly. At Dr Roof, we developed a system to ensure that all our roofers understand how to use the correct and best methods to repair roofs. Believe it or not, there is a right or wrong and better or worse way to fix a roof. Dr Roof has the people with the skills necessary to do the job right the first time.
There is NO roofer license or certification requirement by any government body in the Atlanta area. Roofers become certified voluntarily via shingle manufacturer certification programs if they want, but many do not. It is also optional to become a licensed General Contractor in the state of Georgia, but 95% of roofing companies choose not to do this. Dr Roof goes above and beyond and is a certified roofer with GAF, CertainTeed, and Tamko. Dr. Roof also has a General Contractors license in Georgia.
About Dr Roof
Dr Roof Atlanta has worked to earn a solid reputation over the past 34 years for quality roofing workmanship and excellent customer service. But you don't have to just take their word for it. Few other roofers in Atlanta can claim to be the recipients of the Consumers Choice Award for 17 years running!