Here in Virginia we enjoy considerably milder climate compared to other regions. But we are still not exempt from severe weather conditions from time to time. High winds, winter storms and tropical cyclones visit our state. Some of them are even strong enough to damage both homes and business extensively. For this reason, you need to make sure your home can always withstand the onslaught when it comes. This means having work done on your exterior components, like your windows, siding and, most importantly, your roofing in Alexandria, VA.
It may be sturdy and well-performing now, but your roof might sustain serious wear and tear following a major weather event. In fact, it might already need some work right now. Dealing with its issues before they worsen can make a big difference to its performance and service life. But how do you actually get started on a roofing project? Take a look at some of the things you’ll need to consider:
1. Have your roof inspected. Given how your roofing system is completely exposed to the elements all year round, it pays to have it inspected for possible weather damage regularly. This is especially crucial after a major storm. Sometimes the damage itself is barely visible from the ground. Eventually, it can worsen and leave your home vulnerable to water damage. But this is where a comprehensive roof inspection from a trusted roofing company in Burke, VA gets handy. It helps determine the overall condition of your roof by uncovering possible damage and stopping it from worsening. Here are some of the warning signs your roofer would look for:
- Missing, loose or worn roofing material
- Discolored roofing shingles or panels
- Split, rotted and worn wood shingles
- Rust or loose seams on metal roofing
- Mold growth
- Loose or torn flashing around valleys, chimneys, skylights, vent pipes and dormers
- Blocked roof vents and damaged attic insulation
- Leaking, damaged gutters
- Stains or dampness under the roof deck
Your roofer will suggest the appropriate solution depending on the inspection results.
2. Know when it’s best to invest in a roof replacement. Not all roofing problems lead to a replacement. Leaks, for example, might need only patching or roof repair in Burke, VA. Torn or loose flashing can be repaired and resealed, while damaged shingles can be removed and have new ones slipped into their place. The telltale signs of a roof replacement are much more serious, compromising your home’s safety and structural integrity when left unattended. Some of these signs to watch out for include:
- Sagging roof deck
- Curled, buckling shingles
- Numerous and recurring roof leaks
- Unsightly streaks and stains along interior walls and ceiling
- Large patches of missing roofing material
- Shingle granules inside the gutters
- Excessive mold or moss growth on the roof surface
- Visible sunlight through the floorboards
You might want to invest in a roof replacement if your existing system displays most or all of these signs. While this upgrade takes a considerable amount of time and money, the many benefits it can provide more than makes up for it. New roofing in Fairfax, VA allows for greater weather protection and maintenance-free performance. Most roofing options today are designed to last a long time, so you no longer have to worry about investing in another roof replacement for decades. Given how it’s a highly visible home component, your new roof can also help your home make a bigger impression from the curb. Just make sure to pick the color and design that best match with your home’s other design elements.
3. Work with a roofing professional for the solution. While there’s nothing wrong with taking the DIY route when it comes to home improvement, that’s only suitable for smaller projects such as lawn care or exterior painting. A large and complex roof replacement is something untrained and inexperienced homeowners should never attempt. This work requires a professional because:
- They have the necessary skills and experience to ensure your new roofing is installed properly.
- They have the right tools and equipment, plus deep familiarity with applicable safety procedures. This is especially crucial when you’re actually investing in commercial roof replacement, which involves different installation methods and specialized equipment. You might want to hire a pro who can provide quality commercial roofing services in Burke, VA for this specific project.
- They can complete the project much quicker and with less potential for mistakes. This means you can avoid the additional costs and unwitting property damage typical of DIY roof replacement.
4. Hire a reliable roofing contractor. It’s always a good idea to work with a contractor for your roof repair or replacement, but it’s even a better idea to work with a reliable one. Looking for the best roofer among all the others in Virginia may seem daunting, but it’s easy when you know what to look for. But first, get local referrals from family and friends. This provides a clearer and more accurate idea on a given roofing contractor’s quality of work. Once you have a few names, check for:
- State and business licensing, which makes them eligible to perform this kind of work in your area. This also ensures they can complete your project while adhering to local building codes and regulations.
- Insurance, including workers’ compensation and liability coverage so you can protect yourself and your investment if anything goes awry during the project.
- Experience, so you’re sure that the roofing work is done in a timely and efficient manner. You’ll be relying on them to provide a safer and smoother process, after all.
- Good customer service, which allows for better, clearer communication and helps establish confidence.
5. Don’t forget about manufacturer certifications and warranties. When having work done on your roof, hire a manufacturer certified contractor. This can provide you with access to higher quality materials and products, plus ensure the work is done according to the manufacturer’s quality specifications. Not only that, you’ll benefit from the solid, extensive warranties included with them. A GAF®️ Master Elite™ roofing contractor, for example, can offer you the exclusive GAF Golden Pledge®️ Warranty, which comes with 50-year material coverage and 20-year on workmanship. This can add an extra layer of protection to your investment.
6. If getting a replacement, take into account the roofing material. Make sure your choice complements your home’s architectural style. For instance, traditional homes like Queen Anne, Colonial and Federal typically have slate roofing. Quarries in Virginia, in particular, produce blue-black slates. For Contemporary and Modern homes, metal roofing is the staple, while Spanish-Mission and Mediterranean homes look their best with clay or concrete tile. Cottage and Cabin homes, meanwhile, is perfect with wood shakes and shingles.
For those looking for a safe, versatile and cost-effective choice, you should consider asphalt shingles. They are lightweight and easy to install, plus they are available in a wide selection of colors, textures and thicknesses. Asphalt shingles can even emulate the rich look and feel of authentic slate and wood shakes, allowing for many design possibilities. These make it easier to match your new roofing with your home’s architectural style, adding further to its historic accuracy.
7. Prepare for the work ahead. Make sure to talk to your kids beforehand, describing the process in general and the changes in routine. As a courtesy, inform your neighbors about the roofing work and be considerate about their concerns. After all, the project involves a bit of noise and may also slow the flow of traffic in the neighborhood. This minimizes the chance of stop-work orders being issued. Next, make sure to remove any item, such as grilles, outdoor furniture and potted plants that can hinder the work area. To minimize property damage, place them elsewhere in the meantime.
If you’re investing in a roof replacement, it’s possible that you’ll have to set up a temporary home. The noise, dust and open roof will make your home uninhabitable during the work, after all. Make sure you and your roofing contractor are on the same page about protecting your landscaping and property from unnecessary mess and damage. Items that are hanging from the walls and ceiling, like photos and light fixtures should be taken down before you leave. Cover furniture and remove valuables, as well.
You should set up a contingency fund in case of unwelcome surprises. By having a bit of money set aside, you can avoid overspending and ensure the work remains on budget and on track. Don’t forget to ask your roofer for a written contract covering all the details involved with the project. These Include project timeline, warranty coverage, change orders and insurance.
8. Schedule regular roof maintenance. To get the most of your new roofing, you should get a comprehensive maintenance plan from your contractor. This way, you can deal with any potential issues brought by weather damage and keep your system in tip-top shape all year round. A maintenance plan should cover all the essential roofing components, from shingles and flashing to attic insulation and ventilation. Looking for a way to minimize water damage? Invest in seamless gutter installation in Alexandria, VA to go with your new roof.
9. Keep in mind storm damage and insurance claims. If you’re roof is covered by insurance, you can work with a trusted roofing company who can provide insurance claims assistance. They’ll document the storm damage your roof has sustained and coordinate with the adjusters to ensure you receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.
Once you’ve taken these essentials into account, you can ensure your roofing project can go on without a hitch.