Blog » Common Roofing System Questions—Answered!

The roof over your head is an important component to the overall safety, comfort and well-being of your home. However, most of us are guilty of not giving it a second thought until we notice something out of the ordinary.

At PRS Roofing & Siding, we want to help familiarize homeowners with their roofing system and provide them with the best information to make informed decisions.  Here are some of the most common questions about roofing systems…

Q: What are the tell-tale signs of roof trouble?

A: Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t realize there’s a problem with their roof until a leak or other damage is discovered.  There are red flags you should look for during bi-annual inspections. Keep an eye out for:

  • Cracked, warped or missing shingles
  • Damaged flashing
  • Excessive accumulation of shingle granules in gutters or downspouts, and
  • Other visible signs that a problem is brewing.

We don’t recommend you conduct a roof inspection yourself; instead, look at your roof from the ground up—binoculars are helpful in seeing fine details.  There are things to look for inside your home as well, such as:

  • Cracked paint
  • Ceiling bubbles
  • Discoloration, and
  • Peeling wallpaper.

Q: What are my options if I decide to re-roof?

A: Most roofing contractors will say you have two options.  

A completely new roof requires tearing off the old shingles and re-covering with all new membrane and roofing shingles.  The other option, which we don’t recommend is overlay re-roofing.  Many customers who want a cheaper, faster solution will choose the latter; however, proceed with caution.  While overlay re-roofing might solve your problem, it’s not the best choice.  

Roofing overtop of old material does more than add extra weight to your roof, it covers up the problem.  Damage and serious issues can’t be uncovered with overlay which pretty much means you’re temporarily putting off the inevitable—a new roof .

Related:  Why you shouldn’t opt for overlay roofing

Q: My roof is leaking. Are there repair options or do I need a new roof?

A: Yes and no.  Many times, leaks are the result of loose flashing, failed pipe collar, damaged ridge vent or leaky nail holes.  These are all problems that can be fixed without extensive roofing system replacements.  However, if the leak is a consequence of poor installation, improper choice of materials or inadequate underlayment, you may very well need an entirely new roof.  If you need a new roof, do your research in choosing an experienced, reliable roofing contractor.

Q:  I’m comfortable with heights, can I do roof repairs myself?

A:  While we applaud anyone courageous enough to tackle their own repairs, most roof work should be handled by a professional.  Not only is it possible to accidentally do the wrong thing, you could seriously injure yourself in the process.  Licensed roofing contractors are thoroughly trained to safely and effectively to complete any roof repair—no matter how big or small. Falling off ladders and roofs is surprisingly common; don’t give yourself the opportunity to become a statistic.

Q:  What can I do to extend the life of my roofing system?

A:  PRS Roofing & Siding doesn’t recommend DIY roof repairs, but we do suggest basic homeowner maintenance. Seasonal checks during the fall and spring are critical for identifying problems that could lead to expensive repairs.  If you know what to look for, most things can be spotted from the ground up.  Check shingles for warping and curling.  Clean gutters of leaves and debris.  If you insist on getting a closer look, use a firmly braced ladder and wear shoes with solid traction.  Try to stay on the ladder if at all possible.

Q: How long will my roofing system last?

A: This is probably the most common homeowner question.  The answer varies based on a number of factors.  These include:

  • The kind of roof you have (the shape and intricacies)
  • Maintenance history
  • Climate
  • Type of shingles, and
  • Installation techniques used

Generally speaking, classic 3-tab shingles last 20-30 years, dimensional shingles 30-40 years and designer shingles up to 50 years.  Extended warranties are offered by most shingle manufacturers.

Related:  How to choose the best roofing shingle for your home

Q: How much does a new roof cost?   

A: This is a pretty loaded question, and certainly not a one-size fits all answer.  Rarely can we even begin to provide an estimate without an on-site consultation.  The price of a new roof depends primarily on the complexity of your roof’s architecture, and the cost of materials and labor.  Also take into consideration the time of year you’re having the work performed and the location of your home.  You should get a couple quotes from roofing contractors.  It’s also helpful to ask neighbors who have had roof work done recently.  Just remember that the cost is only one factor.  Make sure the contractor is professional, experienced and guarantees quality materials and craftsmanship.

Have more questions?  Contact PRS Roofing & Siding today for the solutions to all your residential roofing needs.  Someone from our team of experienced roofing and siding contractors will be happy to come to your home for a free on-site consultation to address any and all of your concerns.