Why The Day Your New Roof Is Installed Is The Most Important Day In Your Roof's Life
Re-roofing your property is a big decision, both from a timing perspective and financially. If you wait too long to make that decision, you could potentially cause more harm to your property. A failing roof can lead to mold, water leaks, and additional costly damage to the interior of your property. From a financial point of view, installing a new roof typically means a large outlay of money or new improvement financing… Neither of these choices is very appealing to property owners. Add to that, you have to somehow pick the best roofing contractor and hope that you have picked a responsible, financially stable, timely, and customer service-oriented roofing contractor. Consequently, for most people, it comes as no surprise that re-roofing your property can be a stressful yet unavoidable aspect of property ownership. Here at GoTech Roofing, we understand your concerns.
Roofing Materials Basics
Your choice of roofing materials will depend on a number of factors including personal taste. How long do you plan on owning your property? You may choose more expensive longer lasting roofing materials if you plan on keeping your property for the long term. What is your Roof pitch (slope angle)? Roof pitch is a big factor in the type of roofing materials you can select. Roofs with no to very low pitch/slope have to have roofing materials that can withhold water for short periods of time until the roof drains completely. On the other hand, steeply pitched roofs have to have very strong holding roofing materials due to the constant gravitational pull of the steep slope.
The most common choices for residential roofing include:
- Asphalt Composition Shingles: These are cheaper and easily obtainable. You can purchase these in a wide variety of styles: 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 50-year shingles in just about any color you can imagine. This is by far the most prevalent type of roofing material.
- Metal Roofing: Metal roofs made of steel or aluminum are very popular nowadays. Metal roofs are very durable and fireproof. And they are beautiful to look at. There are several types of metal roofing systems are available. Standing seam is the most popular. In addition, there are metal roof materials that look like shingles, tile, and shake. These roofs do require an investment up front, but they typically last 50+ years.
- Cedar Wood shakes or Shingles: These attractive shingles are pricier. They were very popular during the 1970s and 1980s. But the government has put restrictions on foresting older cedar trees and now the available wood is much younger. In addition, there is a lot of maintenance you have to do in order to maximize their life expectancy. The majority of people are opting for composite shingles that look almost identical to wood shake shingles – but are cheaper.
- Composition Shingle, Shake, or Slate: These synthetic tiles are generally made from 65% to 95% recycled materials, including rubber and plastic, and are extremely popular now. The latest generation of composites resembles wood shake, slate and other forms of stone tile so well, that it is hard from a street view to tell that they are synthetic. Moreover, they are much lighter and less susceptible to wind damage. Property owners also enjoy the fact that composites are colorfast. A decade from now, your roof will still look new, You can expect composite roofing materials to last 30 to 50 years.
- Flat Roofing: Flat roofing is a type of roofing design that is characterized by its nearly level surface. Unlike sloped roofs, which have an incline to allow water to run off, flat roofs have very little slope which means that water can pool on the surface if the roof is not properly constructed. Flat roofs are commonly used in commercial, industrial buildings, and residential properties. They are often made from materials such as TPO, EPDM, PVC, built-up roofing, and modified bitumen, and require regular maintenance to ensure their longevity. It is important to hire a flat roof contractor that specializes and has extensive experience in flat roofs. At GoTech Roofing we have seen too many incorrectly installed flat roofs that were done by shingle roofers dabbling in flat roofs. Unfortunately, it typically costs the owner a lot of money to correct the installation mistakes.
- Clay or Ceramic Tile: Not as common in the DC Metro Area. These roofing materials are very heavy as well. Clay or ceramic tile is expensive and more challenging to repair than other type of roofing materials.
Shingle Layering Considerations
It was once a common practice to lay a new shingle roof over the preexisting shingle layer at least once, or sometimes even twice. This is no longer allowed in the majority of Virginia counties and in Washington DC, where a complete tear-off of the previous roofing is now required by code. Even where layering is allowed, there are pros and cons of applying a new layer of shingles over the old shingles:
- Weight: The argument here is that laying additional layers of asphalt shingles can get too heavy for the existing roof framing. This can lead to structural problems, especially for older properties. It is believed that a triple layer of asphalt shingles is equal to a single layer of slate shingles.
- Waste and Work Reduction: The only advantage of shingle layering is that it reduces the work involved. Tearing off the existing layer and then installing a new layer adds more work to the roof replacement process. GoTech Roofing can typically tear off an old roof in one morning and for minimal costs.
- Telegraphing: If your roof has deck sheathing problems or shingle irregularities, then you will see the same irregularities coming up through the new layer of shingles. If you’re considering putting on a new roof after 20+ years, there is probably a high chance that your roofer will need to fix underlying materials first. Re-roofing your home is a big investment. GoTech Roofing advises all of its customers to fix the underlying roof structure first, then install the new roofing materials. After all, you will be looking at this roof for decades.
- Manufacturer's Warranties: The vast majority of roofing manufacturers require the roofing contractor to tear off completely the old roof before installing a roof replacement with their materials in order to have an extended warranty. Over the years GoTech Roofing has seen numerous roofs where improperly installed 1st layers of roofing materials have punctured the new layer and voided the manufacturers' warranty.
Roof Replacement Cost Considerations
There are several factors that go into the cost of a roof. Obviously, your choice of roofing materials will affect the final cost of roof replacement. You can choose from the lowest-end cheap three-tab asphalt shingles up to middle-end architectural shingles, or go for the most expensive, luxury shingles. Other cost variables are the roofing contractor you choose, the pitch (steepness or slope of your roof), and the square footage of your roof. At the very bottom, a three-tab shingle roof for a small townhome may cost as little as $4,000. In the DC Metro Area, a typical roof with a lifetime warranty using architectural dimensional asphalt shingles costs between $4.50 and $10.50 per square foot (depending on the quality of the architectural dimensional asphalt shingle you choose) — a cost at GoTech Roofing that always includes old roof tear-off, installing a new roof replacement system (shingles, starter shingles, ridge vent and ridge cap shingles, drip strips, synthetic underlayment, ice & water barrier), replacing any damaged roof deck boards, replacing all vents with new ones, replacing all pipe boots with new ones, step flashing, brick flashing, chimney flashing, waste disposal, and cleanup.
Northern Virginia and Washington DC Roof Replacement Insurance Claims
No one can control Mother Nature. If your roof was recently damaged by high winds, hail, or a falling tree, let GoTech Roofing help with your roof insurance claim. We work with insurance companies on a daily basis. We can help you navigate and negotiate the best roof claim settlement to make you whole again. Insurance Adjusters are trained to pay you the least amount possible for roof damage. Don’t make the mistake of trying to negotiate with them without the advice of a professional roofing contractor that has decades of experience in dealing with insurance adjusters and roof insurance claims.
The GoTech Roofing Team will provide you with a thorough roof assessment and estimate of damage to your roof. Contact us at (703) 417-9200 for more information on the best way to handle your insurance claim.
Estimates for Northern Virginia and Washington DC Roof Replacement
GoTech Roofing offers a FREE, no-obligation, on-site roof replacement project analysis for anyone considering replacing their roof. This includes a thorough assessment (we show you pictures and videos of everything we have inspected) of the overall health of your roofing, gutters, eave and gable boards, attic insulation, attic venting, and chimney, and a consultation with one of our expert roofing technicians. This will allow you sufficient time to ask your roofing questions and express any concerns you may have, as well as decide whether a partial roof repair or full roof replacement is right for your property. Generally, within a day of your roof assessment, GoTech Roofing will promptly send you a detailed roof project proposal based on your needs and financial goals. To schedule your free consultation, contact GoTech Roofing below
Understand the Roof Replacement Process
You'll be able to make advised decisions when hiring a roofing crew if you understand the process, as well as the jargon used in the roofing trade.
A moderately-sized, professionally-installed roofing job might take only 1 to 2 days. The overall process followed by the GoTech Roofing Team is explained below:
- Tear off all old existing shingles, underlayment, flashing, and vent pipe seals and deposit them into a dump trailer: The GoTech Roofing Team will use tarps to protect driveways, patios, plantings, and shrubs during tear-off and will use magnetic tools to pick up nails from the lawn.
- If it is in good condition, make only minor repairs on the roof:If the roof is not in good condition, we will replace the bad wood sheathing with new plywood sheathing or 1 x 6 sheathing plank boards, whichever is appropriate for your type of roof.
- Install ice and water shield protection: GoTech Roofing installs this on all roof replacements we install. Ice and water guard membrane is a synthetic waterproof barrier material. It is designed to prevent melting ice from backing up under the shingles where it could potentially leak through the sheathing. Once the sheathing starts leaking, it can cause major damage to the interior of your property.
- Lay down self sealing synthetic underlayment before installing the final roofing material: A lot of roofing contractors install cheap felt underlayment. GoTech Roofing advises all of its customers to use synthetic underlayment. Synthetic underlayment repels water better and seals around nails more securely. Felt underlayment is much more likely to rip in high winds.
- Apply metal drip edging around the perimeter of the roof, both on the eave sides and gable sides: This is another place where most roofing contractors cut corners to give you a lower roofing replacement estimate. On approximately 40% of the roof replacement projects we work on, we have to fully replace rake and eave boards due to rot. This could have been completely avoided if the initial roofer had installed drip edges. A drip edge is a metal flashing designed to control the flow of water away from these boards and into the gutters. GoTech Roofing always installs drip edges.
- Waterproof all roof valleys. GoTech Roofing applies new valley flashing along any area where two roof planes meet: Typically, the valley is covered 24 inches up on both side with ice and water shield barrier. Depending on the shingles and roof design, we may use metal in the valleys.
- Install the roofing material (shingles, composite, wood, metal, slate), we start at the eaves and then work upward toward the roof peak: Where roof and stack pipe vents are protruding, we install new seals as we progress up the roof to the peak.
- Apply metal flashing around all roof areas where leaks might come into the property: step flashing where walls meet, surrounding the chimney, around skylights, and all stack vents.
- Install a new ridge vent where applicable: A ridge vent is a continuous vent along the peak of the roof. A ridge vent improves the air circulation in the attic space and can be essential in exhausting hot air and preventing winter ice dams. You often will not find ridge vents on older homes. If the pitch/slope of your ridge is not too steep, then installing them is a great idea whenever a property has a roof replacement. In the case where the pitch/slope is too steep for a ridge vent, then other types of roof or gable vents should be installed to provide air circulation in the attic space.
- Complete the final cleanup, haul the roof debris away, and have a final inspection with the Customer: Have the installation inspected and approved by the GoTech Roofing Project Manager and have the Customer sign off.
The roofing business has some unique terminology when estimating materials for a roofing job.
- The term square, when used in the roofing business, is a unit of roof area. One square equals 100 square feet.
- Shingles come in bundles. Three, four, or five bundles of shingles typically will cover a square of roofing area depending on the quality of shingles. More expensive thicker shingles require more bundles to cover a square.
” When you need a roofing replacement completed properly, safely, and with the highest quality standards, make sure you hire a Roofing Manufacturer Factory Trained and Certified Roof Replacement Installer for your roofing needs. ”
Call To Schedule Your Roof Replacement Service Today!
What advantages do you get out of a GoTech Roofing roof replacement?
We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to perform roof placements in Virginia and Washington DC.
We are HAAG certified inspectors.
GoTech Roofing is locally owned and operated.
We always put our customers’ needs and interests first.
Our roofing team has decades of experience installing all types of roofs: shingle, metal, wood, composite, slate, and flat roofs.
We provide accurate line-by-line estimates and always perform follow-up consultations to ensure customer satisfaction with the finished roofing product.
We use only the highest-quality roofing materials and always install roofing materials according to manufacturer specifications.
GoTech Roofing does more than just roofing. We can also assist you with gutter installation, siding replacement, and adding insulation to your home.
We have large roofing teams and small roofing teams. We can handle any size roof replacement project.
Why Choose GoTech Roofing?
Founded by Julian Stevens over a decade ago, GoTech Roofing has established itself as the number 1 provider of roofing services in Northern Virginia and Washington DC. We provide roof repair and roof replacement services with a real focus on customer satisfaction. We are a Virginia and Washington DC Class A Contractor, fully insured with Workman's Compensation and Liability Insurance, and Bonded. GoTech Roofing provides each and every client with an incomparable roofing experience through our outstanding customer service and exceptional quality. We understand that each roof is unique and will treat it as such. Having worked 10 years providing multi-million dollar contracting services for the Federal Government, Julian took a look at the antiquated roofing construction process and knew there was a better way. He built GoTech Roofing utilizing Dynamics Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software fully integrated with Microsoft Project Professional software to create a Proprietary Customer Service-Oriented Roofing Process that starts with your first communication with us all the way to when we shake hands when the job is done. With our GoTech Proprietary Customer Service-Oriented Roofing Process you can skip the headaches, schedule delays, lack of contractor communication, cost increases, and nonsense – we handle every roofing project detail from start to finish in a written scheduled process you will receive on day one.