There is no denying that Colorado is a beautiful state. Nature is truly second to none. Unfortunately, with that comes some downsides, though. Namely, when that lovely nature ends up being an enemy to our homes. While we do construct them well, sometimes things happen, and damage cannot always be avoided.
What can we do in those cases? Thankfully, there are a wide variety of options out there. If you are not sure where to start, hopefully, my article today can serve as a guide for you in terms of what needs protecting, maintaining as well as repairing, and how you can find those services!
It might feel overwhelming due to the sheer number of companies out there. Finding one that we can trust is even harder, honestly. So, I will also give you a few things to watch out for in terms of red flags versus green flags for your contractor professionals. I have seen and experienced far too many horror stories in my time – I think it is a good idea to share this knowledge so that more people can avoid a similar fate!
First Thing’s First: What is Roofing?
We can hardly dig into this topic more without covering the basics, right? In terms of roofing, there are a lot of websites out there like this one, https://www.thisoldhouse.com/roofing/21072549/all-about-roofing, that can offer you some insights. I do think it is valuable to get a fuller understanding of it, even if you are not a contractor itself. Why is that?
Well, for one thing, it can help to protect you against getting scammed. Of course, this is not to imply that there are a bunch of private contractors out there just waiting to rip you off and steal your money without providing results, because that is not really the case. Rather, I mention this point as a “just in case” sort of thing.
After all, if you did not know, roofs are typically thought of as one of the most important parts of a house. They serve many functions, most notably keeping the interiors of our properties safe from the elements. That is just one part of what makes them so critical, though – so stay tuned for more information on how that works!
Something that you should note is that despite how much they matter for retaining structural integrity, home inspectors tend to overlook them. It is very rare for them to physically get onto the roofs rather than just examine them from the ground. As you can probably imagine, this tends to result in damage getting overlooked.
The Parts and Types of Roofs Out There
One of the primary functions of a roof is to shed water that would otherwise get into the other parts of your structural foundation and cause issues. As far as how that works, a large factor of it is the slope of the structure. Most, if not all, roofs slope – even if they look flat at first glance.
When it comes to these flat ones, the slope comes from the attached gutters and decks. There is typically a drop every four feet of length, with the standard there being a fourth of an inch of descending height. That is how most structures achieve the optimal levels of drainage.
The height of the slope and steepness of it directly influence how fast the water is sloughed off, and thus how effective it is at this job. You might be wondering why this speed matters. Well, it comes down to how easily water will be able to get through any cracks or holes that exist in the tiles.
Now, knowing this, it might seem strange that all of the buildings that we see do not have huge roofs that are seventy feet high or something crazy like that! Something to bear in mind here is that there is more to consider here than just the physics of how fast rain will spill down from the structure. Rather, costs are a huge factor in terms of how large one will be, along with aesthetics. Some people do not like the appearance of very tall ones, after all.
This is probably one of the most popular types of roofs out there. A lot of the imagery that we see for “house” or “home” have gable-style ones. Even the drawings from our childhood often had them! If this is the type that you have, you can probably find a Wellington CO roofing contractor with a fair amount of ease as they have specialized maintenance, but it is a fairly typical form of specialized knowledge.
In simple terms, it is a giant triangle placeed on top of your house. Of course, there are different flavors of that – they will not all be a very steep chalet. Sometimes a gentle slope is all that is needed or desired, but it still falls under the umbrella of a gable.
Now, there are a few different types of gables as well. For example, a crossed style is effective at times for awnings over windows or doors. Clipped ones do not really look like the traditional ones at first glance, but they are still within this category.
A Dutch gable is another type that sort of combines a hipped one with a gable on top of it. This list is not comprehensive, naturally. What makes these so popular, though?
A large factor of this is how versatile they are, and how many different materials can be used to build them. Additionally, they often allow for a nice amount of extra attic space. In general, that is what makes them one of the most popular styles for people building a house from scratch or buying one.
In terms of the traditional form that these take, it is four slopes of equal length that meet in the middle to create a ridge (be it large or small). Of course, there are a few variations on this. For example, a half hip tends to have two slopes with eaves instead. What is the biggest thing to remember when it comes to these, though?
I would say that what is most important here is that if you have a hipped roof, it will be one of the most prominent features of the exterior of your home. Almost all of it will be visible. Of course, this also means that the material that was used in the construction of the shingles (and elsewhere) will also be visible.
This can be a double-edged sword, unfortunately. If the materials used were not to your liking, it can become quite an eye sore. Thankfully, there are ways to replace that if you end up wanting.
Now, there are other kinds of roofs, but I think it is about time we switched gears. What materials are they made of, and are some better than others? Let us get into it!
Materials Used in Roofing
This is where things get a bit more complicated, but that is where the experts come in if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the information I am providing! If you are ever uncertain, do not be afraid to talk to a private contractor. As I have mentioned above, they are typically readily available to chat with!
Now, the most popular type is asphalt shingles. That has not been the case all throughout the history of course (they are a relatively recent invention in terms of human existence, after all). However, these days they serve as one of the most flexible and long-lasting forms of tiles. You can read more on that on this page.
Something to keep in mind is that they are typically not pure asphalt. Rather, they are a composite of other materials which are topped with that. Usually, the base is made of fiberglass.
Metal shingles are another option. Most homeowners opt for aluminum or steel in terms of appearance. Often, they are made to look like asphalt but are slightly higher in quality. They can even last up to fifty years!
The final one I will touch upon today is wood. Now, you might expect that this is the most cost-effective option, as metals tend to be more expensive, but the opposite is true in this case. A lot must be done to wooden shingles to ensure they will not be a flame hazard, for example. They might be one of the prettiest options, but that certainly comes with a price.
How to Find a Contractor
Now that you are more educated about roofing, you can start considering who you want to bring in for repairs, inspections, and maintenance. As I have mentioned above, all three of these things should be attended to. Just because you do not see the damage does not mean it is not there, and after a storm, in particular, it might be a good idea to find a professional to perform an inspection.
One of the most valuable resources in terms of locating one is the internet. A quick google search is probably what brought you here, so it might seem strange for me to say to go back there but hear me out. Once you find a company or specific person that you want to work with or are at least considering, plug their name into a search engine.
Carefully pour over the results. Pay particular attention to the reviews that you see. If there are not many at all, that might be a point of concern. Many large companies and corporations delete negative reviews, leaving up only their few positive ones.
If they all say the same exact thing, that could be a sign of a bot or several bots trying to drive up traffic. It is unfortunate how many unethical practices there are out there, but hopefully, this has helped you figure at least some of them out. Besides that, though, what other strategies can we employ?
It may be worth your while to consult with friends and family members if they have worked with any of the contractors in your area. It is not exactly uncommon to see storms in Colorado, especially when hail is involved. They probably have some experience in this avenue, so talk to them about who they have experience with.
Take both the negative and positive ones into account, of course. Just because one person does not like a specific person or company does not mean they are immediately one to write off. Rather, it can serve as a guideline for what you are looking for.
You can also try calling who you are interested in hiring and determine how their customer service is. Personally, I think that is one of the most important parts of finding one. Depending on the job, you will potentially be spending time with that person for the next several months. Getting along with them is probably one of the bare minimums, honestly.
Outside of that, the quality of their work should be above all. Obviously, no one wants to hire a contractor who does not give it their all. Again, that is where other customer testimonials come into play! However, it is not a bad idea to ask the contractor personally and see how they respond to your inquiries.
Some of the other things that I take into consideration are things like whether it is a local company or not, or what their specialties are according to their website. Personally, I prefer to work with local businesses. I find they tend to know the problems that afflict our houses a bit better than outsiders, as they are familiar with them.
That is especially true for places that have alternative or difficult weather conditions to contend with. Hailstorms can do a surprising amount of damage to a roof that we don’t even realize! So, if you are experiencing that personally, I hope this article has helped you!