You’re a homeowner and determined your home’s roof needs fixing or needs to be improved with a replacement roof. You’re all set to get moving. What’s the optimal way to get a high quality roofer who will accomplish a good job? What could you look for in a roof contractor or contractor to obtain this work? Calhan
When homeowners choose to repair a roof or replace that roof with asphalt during the cold winter months, they’re often plagued by worries that their family will freeze before the job is completed. In the same vein, those starting a roofing job in the sweltering summer months worry that they’ll be facing heat stroke. These concerns are perfectly normal and common among many homeowners looking for roofing fixes or roof replacement contractors.
Roof valleys are a frequent source of leaks in older houses. Installation procedures differ depending on the roof type and materials used. We will look here at the basic installation of an open lead lined roof valley.
A roof valley is basically a gutter set between two meeting pitched roofs. Depending on the roof area it serves, the valley is the exit point for a large volume of water so extreme care should be taken with installation. If the roof has been leaking for a while or if there are any signs of rot, you will need to start by replacing the valley boards. Lead sheet is not self supporting and should be placed on treated roofing boards of sufficient strength to hold a large person. (Most roofing contractors are big guys!) Fit boards of sufficient width to accommodate the lead plus 100mm either side. This will give you something to nail the roofing batons to.
The top of the valley boards should be at the same level as the top of the roof rafters. If you lay the boards directly on top of the rafters it may cause the roofing tiles to kick up and restrict water run off. You will need to cut the valley boards to fit in between the rafters. Support the valley boards with studs or noggins. The valley should finish on an even plane at the eaves. It should not kick up higher than the bottom rafters. If it does, you will need to cut the fascia board or adjust the gutter to suit. It is a good idea to fit a tilting fillet each side of the valley. This angled strip of wood runs along the valley length and should be a minimum of 150mm from the centre of the valley. It should sit no higher than the roofing batons with the thinnest end closest to the centre of the valley.
It is common practice to fit a single sheet of roofing underlay the entire length of the valley. The adjacent roofing underlay will rest on top of this sheet. I recommend you use one of the new advanced synthetic underlay materials. The older bitumen based felts are fine for normal roofing situations but are not suitable for valleys. Over time the bitumen will bond the lead to the boards and restrict thermal movement. You should ensure you buy lead of a sufficient grade/code for valley applications. This should be between 1.80mm and 2.24mm thickness. If you are unsure ask your roofing merchant of the correct grade. The lead should be cut into sections no larger than 1.5 meters in length to allow sufficient thermal movement. Bend a welt into the lead 25mm each side. This acts as a last line of defence for water penetration. It also has the added benefit of stiffening the lead, which makes carrying it up the roof a lot easier.
Starting at the bottom of the valley, dress the lead neatly onto the valley boards and over the tilting fillets. The bottom of the lead should allow correct drainage into the gutter. Fix two rows of nails at the very top of the flashing. Use copper or stainless steel nails. Never use galvanised or aluminum nails which will just react with the lead and corrode. I recommend you use the minimum amount of fixing possible to hold the lead in place. If you over fix lead sheeting it will eventually split due to thermal movement. So don't nail the sides. When you have successfully dressed the first sheet you can move up the roof laying subsequent sheets. Overlap each sheet a minimum of 150mm. On lower pitched roof valleys you will need to increase the lap. Where the valley ends at the ridge, you will need to dress the lead so it can sit neatly under the ridge tiles. You are now ready to start fixing the batons and laying the roofing tiles. The key points to remember are to keep the sheet lengths down to 1.5 meters and don't over fix. If you follow the procedure outlined and take care with the dressing you will produce a durable maintenance free valley.
Roofing: A Guide to Lead Valley Installation
Having the roof replaced can be one of the most costly things a homeowner has to encounter. Depending on the size of the home, a new roof can cost a few thousand dollars all the way up to tens of thousands of dollars. This is why it is vital to make sure you hire a qualified roofer who has a track record of proving quality service. Below are 10 things to consider before you hire a roofing company for your roof replacement job:
- Make sure the contractor is licensed in your local area. Have the contractor provide you with his or her licensing number and ensure it is valid.
- Ask for a minimum of three references from previous customers. Call the customers and ask them for the specifics of their job. Ask what problems they encountered and how the company addressed or fix any issues.
- Get bids from multiple companies. Three is a good number here. Get three companies to come out and ask them to provide cost estimates and references then compare all to find the one that seems best.
- Check with your insurance company to make sure the company is an approved contractor (if your homeowner's policy is paying for any part of the replacement of your roof).
- Check with the local better business bureau and read any complaints. You can also check with online services like Angie's List or Service Magic to read reviews from consumers in your local area (these last two will charge a minimal fee for access to this type of information).
- As for a copy of the companies current liability insurance plan to protect you if anything goes wrong.
- Ask to make sure the company has all relevant permits to begin the roofing construction project.
- Ask friends, family members and your insurance agent or banker if they have any recommendations for a good quality company.
- Do not pay up front for the job and do not pay in cash. If anything is requested, pay no more than 10 percent up front and never pay anything in advance of the work that has been completed.
- Get a written contract that spells out the entire price for the work and the materials. Make sure you stipulate that any additional materials will be paid by the contractor.
If you follow these 10 tips, you should feel confident that you have a good company to work with.