Roofing Questions… do you have a few?
Here at Legacy Roofing of Idaho, we understand that a new roof is a large investment for homeowners. And like any large investment – be it a new car, a financial investment, or in this case a new roof – there are a few things you need to always consider.
For example, ask yourself, “Is my home really in need of a new roof, or can it merely stand for a few roof repairs? Or, perhaps you already know you need a new roof, but you’re wondering how much it should cost. Either way, we got you covered, both figuratively and literally!
In this complete FAQ article, we will answer some of the most common roofing questions that we consistently hear from homeowners so that you can make informed roof purchasing decisions!
The 14 Most Asked Roofing Questions
1. My roof is leaking; what should I do?
You wake up one morning, and you find yourself noticing a brownish-colored stain on your ceiling as you brush your teeth. You ask yourself, “How did a water leak occur in my ceiling?”
Right then it hits you, your roof must have a leak! The first step in recognizing you have a roof leak is not to panic. Sometimes a roof leak is not as severe as you might think. For example, perhaps your pipe collar is cracked, or some caulk around a vent or edge allows moisture to get through your roof.
Either way, if you suspect a leak, the best thing to do is to call a roofing company and get it checked out. Now keep in mind most roof leaks start small, but if left unaddressed, they can become worse and lead to more significant issues.
The positive news is most of the time, a small roof leak doesn’t require a new roof but instead just a roof repair. In extreme cases where a roof is ancient, and the plywood is rotting, well then you might have some bigger issues!
2. What are the signs my roof has problems?
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you do have rotten plywood, a leak, or you notice missing shingles. These would all be examples of visual signs your roof needs some TLC. Some roofing issues are obvious:
- Missing shingles
- Water stains inside of the home
- Exposed roof components that look out of place
However, there are also times where you might not see apparent roof issues such as rotting plywood, pipe collar cracks, or “hidden” leaks. In this case, it’s best to have your roof inspected every few years especially as your roof enters double digits in age!
Roofs that are over 15 are not built to last like roofs that are replaced present day! Which leads to perhaps the next most common roofing question – how much does a new roof cost?
3. How much does a new roof cost?
Like anything, roof costs vary. The size of your roof will ultimately determine how much a new roof costs since a brand new roof is all about the size and material required to complete the roof replacement!
To determine how much a new roof will cost, you first must figure out the following:
- Square footage of your roof.
- Roofs are measured & priced by what is called “A Square,” and this means 100 square feet.
- Pricing is done per square, which includes tearing off the existing shingles, laying the new garment, followed by the asphalt shingles.
- The cost per square is determined by the type of shingles a homeowner selects. An average square of shingles installed can run from $350 on the low-low end up to $500+ on the high end
For example, using these numbers, an average size home of about 20 square would run a homeowner anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000. Obviously, $3,000 is a wide range, but factors like shingle type, warranties, the size of your roof, extras, and so on can steer roof costs one way or another.
4. What are the different types of asphalt shingles?
Three-tab shingles are not recommended and we (Legacy Roofing Idaho) do not install them in Idaho
When you drive down the road and observe roofs as we do, what you will notice is asphalt shingles in most cases. Sometimes homes will have metal or cedar shake roofs, but the most common roofing material is asphalt shingles, which also happens to be the most durable and affordable.
That being said, the most common type of asphalt shingles are your standard “Three Tab Shingles.” Three-tab shingles are hardy, affordable, and very common, especially if your roof is 10+ years older.
However, many homeowners resort to architectural shingles when they replace their existing roofs. This gives the look of cedar shingles, but is durable, unlike real cedar shake. Architectural shingles are also thicker and can withstand heavy wind and harsh weather like Idaho tends to offer!
5. How long does a new roof take to install?
Our roof replacement process is thorough and includes tarping for tear-off, tearing off old shingles, inspecting plywood, laying underlayment, installing new asphalt shingles, and then a cleanup process that provides for using magnets to get nails!
Simple and efficient!
6. What is roof flashing, and why is it important?
Anywhere your roof has something protruding from it (like a chimney, vent, or wall) you need to have something to seal where the roof meets that vertically ascending feature. What is used? Roof flashing.
Roofing flashing is used to redirect and prevent water from penetrating your roof. This helps prevent roofing leaks and other issues water can cause. Usually made of galvanized steel, roof flashing can be used in valleys as well to help with preventing water damage.
7. What can I do with the black stains on my shingles?
The black stains on your roof don’t mean you need a new roof, you just need a roof cleaning in most cases. Stains from moss, algae, storms, and general organic buildup can cause your roof to stain. While your roof is fine, sometimes the appearance might not be what you’re looking for.
8. What is better, a metal roof or a shingle roof?
We actually wrote an entire article answering the classic metal vs shingle roof question. In most cases, it depends on the following:
- Your budget
- Your preference
- Long term, what do you want to look at
- Where you live
Each of these factors should be considered; most go with a shingle roof because it is affordable, easy to have installed, and lasts long with current roofing warranties.
➡️ Read about Metal vs. Shingle Roofs here
9. Does my roof pitch matter?
Your roof pitch matters, but chances are it is not something you will really have to worry about. Roof pitch, aka roof slope, is often not a concern when replacing your roof. Most homes have the right slope based on their size. The larger slopes do help with structural integrity. The only time a roof pitch can come into play is if you have a flat roof that requires rubber roofing material.
➡️ You can also learn more about a hip roof vs a gable roof here.
10. What is roof flashing?
Ever have a contractor that told you that you need to check your caulk regularly? Yeah, that isn’t true. While roofs have areas of caulk, what that roofing contractor isn’t telling you is that most roofs leak when they have flashing issues.
Flashing is the vertical thin barrier wherever there is a pertusion in your roof (vent, pipe, chimney) that is installed to prevent leaking. You can read more about roof flashing here.
11. What is a roof square?
A roofing square is essentially 100 square feet of roofing materials. When you have a new roof installation, the contractor will measure your roof and price everything “Per Square.”
For example, if you have a roof that is 3,000 square feet, you would need 30 square of roof shingles. Contractor roof pricing is based on square and can range from $350 to $850 per square (this varies based on numerous factors).
12. What is a roofing system?
Your roof system is all of the components that make up your new roof. Essentially, once your roof’s decking is installed, your roof system is everything that goes on that:
- Drip edge
- Flashing & more.
Your asphalt shingle roof comes with a material warranty that varies by shingle manufacturer and the shingle you select (architectural asphalt shingles vs three-tab shingles). In order for the roof to be warranted, the roofing system must be installed correctly.
13. What should you do if your roof is falling?
If your roof is falling – get out!
All kidding aside, this is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Unlike common roof leaks – which can lead to a failing roof – if your roof is VISUALLY falling or it’s structural integrity is compromised, be sure to get it inspected immediately.
The chances of ever having to deal with a failing roof is rare. Generally, you won’t have a falling roof unless it is an extremely old house or inclement weather conditions compromise your roof. In this case, homeowners insurance can help with a replacement.
14. What other roofing questions should you ask?
We understand that most of the roofing questions we answered are the MOST common, but that doesn’t mean there are no other questions you can ask. For starters, consider these last few roofing questions:
Do new roofs have warranties?
All roofs come with specific product warranties from the shingle manufacturer, backed by labor warranties. Every company is different in what they offer. For more product warranty info, see below:
How long will my new roof last?
The answer to this question varies. However, a new roof should last well over 20+ years. With positive strides in the asphalt shingle industry and advanced technology, a new roof is going to last way longer than roofs from even 15 years ago. Not to mention, new roofs have fantastic product warranties. The most significant factor is areas where high winds occur too often; this can decrease the life of a roof.
Will homeowners insurance replace my roof?
Yes and No. Sometimes insurance companies will cover damage to your roof that is caused by wind or hail. However, there is also the possibility they won’t, depending on the type of damage! Either way, if you suspect you might be a candidate for a new roof through your insurance company, you can always reach out, and we can inspect your roof for free. If we think so, too, we can recommend contacting your insurance for them to inspect your roof!
How long does roof installation take?
Asphalt shingles are super simple to install, and once the roofing materials have arrived, you can expect your roof installed within a day! Most roof tear-off and reshingling projects are completed in a single day.
We prepare the area around your home, remove the old roofing materials off your entire roof, install the underlayment and other roofing components, then lastly add the shingles and ridge cap!
How do you go about hiring a roofing contractor?
While you’re not supposed to answer a question with a question, what you can do is ask these questions when you go to hire a roofing contractor!
- Is your company insured?
- Is your company licensed?
- Do you have references and reviews?
- What does your roofing warranty look like?
See and learn more about the Legacy Roofing roof replacement process!
Learn about the pricing model and cost guide for a new roof!
Get to know more about the most frequently asked roofing questions!
Final Take –
Here at Legacy Roofing of Boise and the surrounding area, we always preach one thing to our team:
An informed homeowner is a confident homeowner.
We share this perspective because our #1 goal is to produce content and answers to your most commonly asked questions to help you make a confident decision when it comes to your home’s roof!
The exterior remodeling business has its fair share of not-so-trustworthy companies, so we do our best to stand out above the rest with our honest and transparent approach.
We know that you getting a new roof properly installed or even repairing your existing roof means you want to be fully confident before ever saying yes! All this to say, feel free to contact us here if you have any questions or would like to figure out more about your home’s roof!
Locations & Cities we serve in the Treasure Valley: Legacy Roofing proudly serves the following areas for new roofs and replacement: Boise, Caldwell, Eagle, Emmett, Garden City, Homedale, Kuna, Marsing, Melba, Meridian, Middleton, Mountain Home, Nampa, Notus, Star, and Wilder.