Investing in a new roof isn’t as exciting as a kitchen renovation or bathroom remodel, but it is a significant investment that happens only once (or twice) in a lifetime. Because a roof replacement isn’t a regular purchase, many homeowners aren’t very familiar with the process, how to choose the best shingles, or even how to choose the best roofing company for the job. There is a lot more to the roof replacement process than what we can cover here, but below are some of the most frequently asked questions, and a great place for you to start your research.
1. How do I know I truly need a new roof?
Some of the older roofing shingles have a 15-30 year lifespan, which depends on the brand and quality of the shingles, the location, climate, tree cover of the home, and how well the roof was installed. If you’ve had your roof for at least 12 years, you should inspect regularly for some of these warning signs: missing shingles, curling shingles, bald spots where the asphalt granules have fallen off, evidence of leaks on the ceilings, missing or rusted flashing, or visible cracks/holes.
It is always recommended to have a professional roofing contractor do a thorough inspection to determine if you need a full roof replacement, or if a few repairs can extend the lifespan of your roof.
2. How much will a new roof cost?
The cost of a new roof depends on several variables, such as: the brand, grade, and type of roofing shingles you select, the size of your roof, the shape of your roof, the slope of your roof, and the quality of the roofing contractor you choose.
Never base your decision solely on price. Yes, a new roof is going to be expensive, so you may think going with the cheapest estimate is the best route, but keep in mind that you’ll end up paying more in the long run due to the extensive damage a sub-par roofing job can cause.
We offer free roofing estimates with no obligation at your convenience. Just fill out our contact form or call (205) 942-8374.
3. Will gutters and downspouts need to be replaced also?
If your gutters and downspouts are in good shape, no, they do not need to be replaced. Our crew will be able to work around them without causing any damage. If they do need some minor repairs, we can provide that service as well.
4. Do I need to do anything special before the work begins?
A complete roof replacement job is going to be messy and loud, although we do everything possible to minimize the interruptions to your daily life and to keep your property clean. Consider making plans to go somewhere else while the roofing crew is removing the old roof in order to avoid the loud noise. Keep your pets in mind too.
We will place tarps over bushes and other landscaping elements to protect them from any roofing debris that may fall. We use a special piece of equipment made specifically for roofing companies that allows us to keep all roofing debris off of the ground. If you have valuable items in your attic, either remove them or cover them with tarps for protection. Be sure to park your vehicles on the street so we can get all of our trucks and equipment as close to the house as possible. Be sure to protect any items inside your home that are very fragile or that you would be upset about if they broke.
5. Can you install a new roof on top of my old roof?
While it may seem like the easiest and cheapest way to go, installing new shingles on top of your current roof is not a good decision if you are looking for longevity in your new roof’s lifespan. Many roofing companies are willing to nail new shingles on top of old ones, typically if you only have one layer of shingles on the roof. We recommend removing all of the old materials all the way down to the roof decking in order to inspect for defects and potential problems in the truss system and roof deck. Also, keep in mind that a roof is built to hold a certain amount of weight, so the more layers you add to it, the more likely it is to start to sag or deteriorate.
Whether you know it’s time for a roof replacement or you’re just doing some research because you know it will be necessary in the future, we would love to help guide you through the process. Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 205-942-8374.
The roof of your home is a very big investment, and it is one that you should put a lot of thought into when you need to replace it. Most homeowners do find themselves dealing with a roof replacement job at some point in their lives, so it is a good idea to learn as much as you can about the process. Between choosing a roofing contractor, deciding on a style and color for your shingles, and comparing roofing warranties, there is a lot to think about. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss typical roof-related warranties that you may run across as you delve into your roofing research.
Warranties that pertain to a roof can be very complicated to interpret. As a homeowner, you will want to find the best protection available. One of the most important things you can do is to find a roofing contractor that has a good reputation, a lot of history and knowledge, and someone that will stand by their work.
There are typically two types of warranties associated with roofs: a manufacturer warranty, and a workmanship warranty. Manufacturer warranties are offered by the manufacturer of the roofing materials and covers those materials only. For example, a warranty for shingles usually has a lifespan of 20-50 years. Manufacturer warranties typically only cover actual defects in the shingles themselves. However, manufacturer warranties are rarely used, because they often require the homeowner to prove that they have provided proper maintenance of the materials on a regular basis. This can be a difficult thing to prove.
Workmanship warranties are offered by the roofing contractor that completes the installation of the roof. This is the main reason why you, the homeowner, should find a reputable roofing company to work with when replacing your home’s roof. It is important to work with someone that is knowledgeable and stands behind their work, thoroughly.
We, at Bill White Roofing and Specialty, welcome the opportunity to work with you on all of your roofing needs. We have been working on roofs throughout the Birmingham area since 1969, and we would love the chance to work on your roof, too. Contact us for a free estimate today!
Shingles protect more American homes than any other type of roofing material. Over 80% of homes coast to coast have asphalt shingle roofs. Even if you’ve always lived under a shingle roof, you might not know a whole lot about this material and what makes it so popular. When it comes time to replace your current roof, you’ll find these facts about asphalt shingles helpful:
1.Shingles are Cost-Effective
Asphalt shingles are much more affordable than other roofing materials like slate, metal, and wood shakes. They are much easier to work with, making installation costs cheaper too. They come with manufacturers warranties against defects for anywhere from 15 to 30 years and some manufacturers offer an extended warranty on higher grade products if they’re installed by a roofing contractor who is factory certified.
2. Shingles are Long Lasting and Durable
If installed correctly, asphalt shingles will last for at least 20 years, often longer. Their lifespan depends on their grade, the quality of installation, and their maintenance over the years. Keep in mind that certain weather events can damage shingles or pull them from the roof, but they are typically easy to replace with the help of a reliable roofing contractor.
3. Shingles are Recyclable
Replacing your roof might raise some concern about adding a lot of waste to the landfills. Most asphalt shingles are fully recyclable, so you will be making an eco-friendly decision when choosing them.
4. Shingles Come in a Wide Variety of Colors
There are so many different shingle options these days, it is almost overwhelming to make a decision. They are available in a wide range of both solid colors and blends. You can choose from the traditional neutrals like black or gray, warm earthy tones, and even contemporary greens, blues, and reds. You can choose color blends that will have the appearance of tile, wood shake, or slate textures.
5. Shingles Can Be Energy Efficient
In the past, asphalt shingles were considered to be the least energy efficient roofing materials due to how much solar heat they absorbed. Today, however, there are many types of shingles manufactured that actually reflect the sun’s heat, which will help reduce your cooling costs.
At Bill White Roofing and Specialty, we are experts when it comes to asphalt shingle roofing. We have been in the business since 1969 and work with the leading shingle manufacturers to provide top of the line products to our clients. Whether you need some roof repairs or are in the market for a roof replacement, you won’t be disappointed with the quality of work we provide. Give us a call today!
Did you know that if your roofing shingles are not nailed correctly, your roofing warranty can be voided? When the warranty is void, roof repairs are not covered. Improperly nailed shingles will also cause significant problems for your roof. They will blow off easier during high winds and they will also leave the roof vulnerable to leaks and other damage.
You’re probably thinking, “If I hire a licensed roofing contractor to do the work, they have to know how to nail the shingles on correctly, right?” Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Even though most shingle manufacturers place the proper nailing instructions on every wrapper, most shingles are clearly marked where they should be nailed, and most manufacturers provide training and certification on proper shingle application, many homeowners end up with roofing problems due to improper shingle installation.
Because the proper placement of the nails takes training, knowledge, skill, and lots of experience, it is very important to do your research and hire a qualified roofing contractor in Birmingham to ensure the job is completed correctly. When you narrow down your potential roofing companies, be sure to read online reviews from previous clients, ask to speak with their most recent clients, and ask a lot of questions about their process for installing shingles.
A big topic in the roofing industry is the difference between hand nailing and using a nail gun when installing a roof. While there are many arguments for both methods, our preferred method is to hand nail each roof we work on. By hand nailing each shingle, we can ensure the nail is placed properly and is nailed in at the correct depth…flush with the shingle and not over-driven or under-driven.
When a nail gun is used to install shingles, there is more room for error, especially if the person using the gun is inexperienced or is moving too quickly. When we hand nail, we are able to feel whether the nail catches the wood and whether it is flush with the shingle. Nail guns have to be held at the correct angle to prevent the nail from going in crooked, and the air pressure of the gun must be adjusted according to temperature variations, wood type, and roof type. One small error with a nail gun can cost a complete roof warranty. So, while hand nailing can take more time, it is more precise and there is less room for error. Our roofing crew has years of experience with hand nailing roofs, so they are still able to install a roof quickly and correctly.
Please contact Bill White Roofing and Specialty about roof replacement in Birmingham or any of the surrounding areas.
If you haven't had to shop for a new roof in the past decade, you're probably unaware of the fact that there are tons of options when it comes to roofing materials. A roof typically lasts anywhere from 20-50 years, so chances are, you will have to replace your roof at some point in your life. Because your new roof will last for years, it is important to choose your roofing shingles wisely so they'll not only last as long as you expect, but also so you don't cringe every time you pull up to your house. With that being said, here are several factors you should keep in mind when choosing the color of your roofing shingles:
Climate: The color of the shingles will help keep your energy bills in line because it can affect the temperature in your attic by 20-40 degrees. Lighter colored shingles reflect sunlight and will help keep your home cool, while darker colored shingles absorb heat and will help keep your home stay warm if you live in a colder climate.
Color of Your Home: You'll want to coordinate the color of your roof with the other elements of your home, whether it is brick, stucco, or covered in siding. Dark gray or black shingles look great with a gray, blue, or white house. If your home is brown, cream, or tan, you may want to go with brown shingles or a mix of cream and brown. If your home is a different color, such as green, red, or yellow, you will have more flexibility when it comes to choosing a color because they all will compliment your home.
Make a Statement: What type of statement do you want to make with your home? Neutral colors such as tan, cream, brown, black, and gray are the safest option and will stay in style the longest. If you're going for a trendier statement, you can use a color combination such as various brown tones or a mix of blues, blacks, and grays.
Illusion: Darker colored shingles will make your home look smaller while lighter colors will make it look larger
Your Neighbors: If you are a member of a neighborhood association, you will need to check with them to see what colors are approved for your roofing shingles. If there are no rules concerning the color of your roof, you should still take into consideration how your roof will blend with the surrounding homes. You don't want to choose the exact same color roof as your next door neighbors, but you also don't want the colors to clash.
Consult with a qualified and experienced roofing contractor to help you choose the best roofing shingle for your home. There are so many options on the market so they should be able to help you narrow down your choices. Shingle type and color are important decisions that will greatly affect your home's curb appeal as well as resale value.
Just as in selling a home, there are numerous things to take into consideration when buying a home. If you find a home you love, it is extremely important to have a home inspection performed by a qualified contractor to determine if it is worth it for you to make such a large investment. Unless it is a brand new home, chances are there will be a list of items suggested by the inspector that need to be addressed before purchasing the home. You can ask the seller to repair things on that list or lower the purchase price of the home to cover the cost of repairs. So what happens when the inspector tells you that the home you are thinking about buying needs a new roof?
Before you decide to move on to another house, keep in mind that you have several options, and that you have some negotiating power in this particular situation. Insurance companies typically won't issue a policy on a home with a roof that is at the end of its lifespan, and most mortgage lenders require homeowner's insurance before approving the loan. That results in the seller only being able to sell the house to someone who can pay cash, and they would have to discount the sales price of the home significantly. It is in the seller's best interest to work out a deal with you to replace the roof, especially because the same issue will come up with anyone else interested in buying the house. Your options at this point are:
Don't let a bad roof cause you to change your mind on a home you are interesting in buying. Ask your realtor to help you figure out the best way to move into a home with a brand new roof that will last for years to come. At Bill White Roofing and Specialty, we will be glad to help you in any way we can.
If you're planning on selling your home, you probably have a mile-long list of things that need to be taken care of in order to get the most money out of the sale. When someone is looking to buy a home, one of the biggest expenses they worry about is whether they are going to have to replace the roof in the near future.
If your roof has a huge gaping hole in it, then you already know you're going to have to replace it before selling your home. Most homeowners, however, are faced with a less obvious decision to replace the roof before selling, and find themselves asking questions like: Will replacing those shingles help me sell my home? Do I really need to repair my roof or can I sell it as is? Do potential buyers really care about the moss on the roof? If you find yourself in this second category and are having trouble making a decision about your roof before putting your home on the market, you definitely need to have a roofing contractor do a thorough inspection to assess the overall condition, scope of repairs needed, and the projected lifespan of the roof if left alone. If the roofing contractor determines that a roof replacement is necessary, then you can consider the following things before making a decision:
Be sure to discuss your options with a professional roofer as well as your realtor. As discussed above, there are numerous factors that will be in play when it comes to selling your home. The best decisions are always educated decisions, and you don't want to spend more money than you have to. If you are in the Birmingham area, give Bill White Roofing and Specialty a call for roof inspections, roof repairs, or roof replacements.
Now that the weather is starting to cool off, most homeowners in Birmingham are starting to tackle all of those outdoor projects they've been letting pile up over the excruciatingly hot summer. If you're one of those homeowners who loves to take on DIY projects, be sure to continue reading to learn about why roof repairs should be left for a professional roofing contractor.
Keeping your roof in top condition is extremely important in keeping you and your family protected from the elements. Sure, you might think that regular inspections and repairs sound fairly simple, but that's not actually the case. Roofing is a very dangerous job. According to Forbes, roofing is the fourth deadliest job in America. Over 2000 people a year die from falling off of a roof, whether that be an amateur or a professional. Even with the strongest safety precautions, there are still many dangerous situations that can occur up on a roof.
Aside from falling, someone who is not experienced with working on a roof can be injured by twisted ankles, bruises, and back injuries. They can also miss weak, soft spots in the roof decking, step on them, and cause more damage than before. Then there are insects like wasps and bees that build nests, and if you disturb them, you'll more than likely be stung. Weather plays a factor in the dangers of working on a roof. A brief rain shower will transform your roof into a slick, slippery surface and quick wind gusts will make you lose your balance. So no matter how safe you think your roof may be, it's actually a very dangerous place to spend your time.
Quality roofing jobs require skill and precision, and the only way to develop these skills is through lots of practice. At Bill White Roofing and Specialty, we have over 45 years of experience in the roofing industry. When someone uses the wrong tools or techniques to install shingles, severe problems will pop up in the long run. Trust an experienced roofing contractor to get the job done correctly so you don't stress yourself out every time it rains or storms.
Another reason roof repairs should be left to professionals is that not all roofing problems are obvious or easy to spot. Some issues will lead to major damage of the rest of your home if not detected and repaired properly in a timely manner. A good roofing contractor will do a thorough inspection to determine all areas that need to be addressed, and will be able to detect conditions that could lead to future problems.
If you're still considering an attempt at DIY roofing, keep in mind that it's probably not going to be as cost effective as you think. A reputable roofing company buys materials in bulk from the manufacturers, lowering the cost significantly, and the roofing crew works quickly and efficiently to get the job done in a timely manner. Do you really want to spend your time working on a project that is not only dangerous but can cause more damage if not completed correctly?
Give Bill White Roofing and Specialty a call for all of your roofing needs. We always say "Your roof is our roof" and will do the job right, the first time.
When it comes to your roof, making the right decision is important for both the lifespan of the roof as well as your bank account. The most common decision we see that homeowners have to make about their roofing in Birmingham is whether to repair a damaged area or replace the roof, either partially or completely.
Damaged or missing shingles are relatively easy to replace, as well as inexpensive. The damaged shingles can be removed and new shingles can be applied very quickly. One thing to consider is the age of your roof and whether you have extra shingles available. If your roof is relatively old and you do not have any spare shingles, the repair job will probably not match your existing roof. This may not be a big deal to a lot of people, especially if the shingle replacement will extend the roof's life by 10-15 years, but if you are planning to sell your home in the near future, a huge eyesore can make or break the deal.
If the damage to your roof is more significant than the shingles but is only found in a small area of the roof, a partial roof replacement is a much less expensive option than reroofing the entire house. The replaced section can easily be blended with the older roof and will keep your home safe from the weather elements.
An important factor in partial roof replacements is how many layers of shingles your roof already has on it. If your roof has several layers, they will all have to be removed in order to complete the work, resulting in additional costs and an uneven roof due to the extra layers of the old roof meeting up with the new part of the roof.
Whether your roof has a small area that needs to be replaced or several areas, it is important to consider the age of the roof. What is the life expectancy of your shingles and how long has it been since they were replaced? If they only have a few years left in their lifespan, it may be best (and cheaper) to replace the entire roof all at once.
If you decide to have your roof completely replaced, you then have to decide whether to tear the old roof off or install the new roof over the old roof. You can either save money now but face the risk of bigger expenses in the future, or spend more money now, get the job done correctly, and lessen the chance of future problems.
If your roof already has two layers of shingles on it, you have to tear off before adding more. Your roof structure cannot handle the weight of another layer of shingles. Sure, they may not seem heavy when you're holding one in your hand, but covering the roof with 1500 square feet is almost the same as parking an SUV on top of it.
If your roof only has one layer of shingles, the decision is up to you. You'll want to consider the fact that shingles hold better when attached directly to the roof decking, so if you live in an area that sees high winds, you'll probably want to tear off the old before applying the new. Another point to keep in mind is the fact that the entire roof deck can be inspected and repaired if the old shingles are torn off first. This is important because not only can all of the damage be spotted at once, small repairs can be made, and the roof decking can be reinforced, but extra water shields and other protective layers can be installed.
A complete roof replacement is expensive, but will last for decades. If you find yourself in a situation requiring some form of roof repair, do not hesitate to contact us so we can help you make an educated decision.