Roof repair is a lot of work, that’s best done by a reputable company. It’s important to choose well.
For home owners, the fear of having the roof repaired always lurks. It’s indeed among your biggest one-time expense in the maintenance and upkeep of your biggest investment.
That’s why it is strongly advised that during the process of buying a home you and your real estate broker carefully examine the Seller’s Declaration, where the seller must indicate the year the roof was done or replaced. The document should include the materials used, the years of warranty, and if there has been any leakage since the roof was last replaced. Do keep in mind that a new roof can still be faulty, or generate problems, even if so-called certified roofers did the repairs.
Prior to doing roof repairs, one should do their homework and carefully choose a reputable roofing company to execute the job. Be aware that no home insurance company insures roofs. If damage to the interior of the home occurred as a result of a faulty roof, i.e. water damage, the insurance company will repair the damages sustained to the interior, but your roof will not be insured.
Therefore, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that the roof is properly maintained and is in optimal condition at all times.
There are several methods and materials that go into roof repair.
Tar and gravel are the most common roofing materials. Such roofs consist of layers of asphalt and tar paper fused together by heated asphalt, with a top finish of gravel, which becomes fixed in the hot asphalt, with some laying loose on the surface of the roof.
The purpose of the gravel is to protect the asphalt from the damaging effects of the sun; it also provides a better “finished” look as long as it is well maintained. Usually, the life expectancy of these types of roofs is approximately 20 years.
Problems arise when it is time for replacement or repair of such roofs, and also addressing past repairs that are poorly done. Homes that are 30 to 50 years old are deemed to have had some type of repairs or work done. If your roof contains too many layers of tar and gravel, this can be problematic for a couple of reasons. Tar and Gravel roofs are not sustainable with multiple layers. The process of sweeping the loose gravel from the rooftop and applying new layers of tar paper and hot asphalt can have disappointing results.
The sharp edges of the gravel from the original layers put the roof at risk; if walked on during maintenance, the new roof membrane can get punctured. If the membrane is punctured, moisture can seep through the layers of the roof, and then expansion appears from the sun’s vehement heat, thus creating separation of the materials causing blisters. During the cold weather these blisters become brittle. Once a blister is broken, a space is created causing water accumulation and as a result a roof leakage occurs.
A second or third application of tar and gravel repairs has a life expectancy of eight to ten years. According to expert roofers, it is advisable to not apply a third or subsequent application of tar and gravel.
It is strongly recommended that once a second repair has been done one must remove all of the existing roofing materials and install a completely new roof. Removal of the existing roof is fundamental during repairs or renewal, both in labor and fees disposal. Therefore, when three layers of tar and gravel must be removed from any roof, it takes six men two days to remove the old materials and the weight of the old disposable materials is approximately 20 tons.
It’s a lot of work, that’s best done by a reputable company. It’s important to choose well.
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