Knowing how to talk with roofers about repairs or installations is an important part of owning a house. Here are four tips to ensure that your discussions will be as fruitful as possible.
Identify Basic Problems
You don't need to be as good a roofing contractor in describing problems. However, it helps if you can generally identify the most common problems.
Leaks usually appear as staining of the second-story ceilings or walls. The stains will have edges that are browner than the surrounding materials or paint.
A saddleback roof has a depression that leaves a visible dip. If the dip is at the top, it looks like a saddle if the main beam is compromised. The dip could also be on the sides of the roof and allow water, snow, or ice to collect.
Deteriorating shingles can leave granules on the ground or in the home's gutters. They will usually be darker than the surrounding rocks. Also, they often form a line below the roof's edge.
Speak in Grades
Roofers often express the slope of a roof as a fraction. A light grade might be 1/12, meaning there is one inch of drop for every 12 horizontal inches. A steep roof could have a 6/12 grade. Guessing is fine just to give the contractor an idea. A roofing contractor never reduces the fraction. They won't call a 6/12 a 1/2 grade.
Know the Shapes
Roofs can be complex. The valleys of the roof represent where the two corners come together, usually in an L. Eaves are the overhangs at the edge of the roof that allows water to drop beyond the wall. Dormers are protrusions of the home's structure through the roof, usually with a window and part of a room under it. As the name suggests, a roof's peak or ridge is the top line. Roofers often install caps and vents here. A cap is a specially cut piece of roofing material in an upside-down V at the top to allow precipitation to fall to both sides. A slight vent may be present to let air and humidity out of the attic.
Name the Materials
A roof usually has a plywood deck attached to the home's structure. Roofers place felt on top of the decking to act as a moisture barrier. They then nail shingles or other materials through the felt and plywood. Roofers also use edging materials. Flashing is metal that protects joints between the roof and other sections, such as chimneys or dormers. Soffit and fascia create a line below the roof and sometimes cover additional vents.
Contact a local roofing contractor to learn more.