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A Homeowner’s Guide to Roofing in Northville, Michigan

Shopping for a roofing contractor is a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time. Most homeowners simply don’t have the experience, or knowledge necessary to understand the differences between roofing companies, materials, and construction techniques. If you think it might be time to repair, or replace the roof on your Northville, Michigan home, don’t let the process become overwhelming. Use this guide to help you make the decision about which roofer you should hire, based on some simple criteria. You’ll also learn about the different types of roofing materials available, so you can decide which is best for your home. Finally, you’ll discover ways to tell whether you need repairs, or a full roof replacement.

Hiring a Roofer 

The truth is, not all roofing contractors are created equally. Some are fly-by-night operations looking to make a quick buck after a storm rolls through an area. Others are permanent fixtures in the local community, committed to providing homeowners with top-notch service and materials. Determining which company to go with can be difficult, especially if you haven’t hired a roofer before. Here are a few things to look for in a reputable roofing company:

  • Experience – Roofing contractors that have been around for a while have a great deal of experience in all aspects of roof repairs and replacement. Find out how long the roofer has been in business, and how many jobs they’ve completed since they began.
  • Residential vs Commercial – You might think that all roofing is the same, but residential and commercial roofs vary widely. Roofing companies often specialize in one, over the other and rarely delve into both types. Choose a roofer that focuses on residential roofing for your home.
  • License & Insurance – It is vitally important that your roofing company has the required licensing to perform roof repairs, or replacements. It’s also important that they have adequate insurance to cover potential damages and injuries. Ask for proof of both from every contractor.
  • Reputation – A company with a good reputation will be more likely to treat their customers fairly and do better work than one with a poor reputation. Look for reviews, contact the BBB, local Chamber of Commerce, or ask friends, colleagues and relatives about prospective roofers.
  • References & Examples – Roofing companies that know they do a good job, and are proud of their work have no problem showing references and examples of their work. They’ll readily provide this information, and encourage you to contact their previous customers.
  • Guarantees – A truly reputable roofer will offer their customers a guarantee that their work is done properly, and in accordance with local guidelines. They’ll also stand behind the materials, and provide some assurance that they’ll perform as expected for the life of the roof.

Don’t Let Price Guide You

You’ll note that price was not one of the items in the list above. The reason is simple. Lower prices are not an indication of a good company, in fact, it can mean the opposite. Roofing costs don’t really vary all that much, and are more dependent upon the type of materials, slope of the roof, and size of the project than the company itself. Remember that if a price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The best course of action is to obtain quotes from several companies offering residential roofing in Northville, Michigan. Choose based upon your budget, but also what you’ll get for the money spent.

Replace or Repair?

You might think that the only way to truly fix a roof problem is to replace it with a new one. The truth is, you may not have to replace your roof at all. In some cases, simple repairs such as replacing missing or damaged shingles will do the trick. Other times, the roof is either damaged beyond repair, or too old to hold up for any longer.

Roof Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy of a residential roof is somewhere around 25 years, if asphalt shingles are used. There are also long-life shingles available that can be expected to last upwards of 50 years. Other materials, such as wood shakes and shingles, and slate can last between 50 and 100 years. For most homeowners, that means only having to replace the roof once during their lifetime, if at all. If your roof is nearing the end of its useful life, according to these statistics, it may well be time to consider replacing it. If you’re not sure how old your roof is, call in a roofing company to inspect it for signs of age and wear. They’ll be able to give you a pretty good indication of its age.

While only a professional roofing company can tell you if your roof needs to be replaced, there are some things to look for that will give you some insight. Keep in mind that climbing a ladder, and walking on a potentially damaged roof is very dangerous. It’s best to leave the rooftop inspections to a professional, however, there are some things you can look for from a safe place on the ground.

  • Water Leaks – Normally, the roofing material keeps the moisture out, and routes it to gutters and downspouts. If you’re noticing water stains on the ceiling in the upper levels of your home, it can be an indication that there is a problem on the roof. It may be a simple matter of repairing the damaged area, but it can also mean the roof has begun to fail and needs to be replaced.
  • Missing or Damaged Shingles – Over time, roof shingles can become dislodged, curled, cracked and buckled. This is often due to the intensity of the sun shining on it for years on end. High winds can also tear shingles away from the roof, leaving it exposed to the elements. It may be possible to replace the damaged, or missing shingles, as long as the rest of the roof is okay.
  • Light Leaks – Inspect your roof from the inside by taking a good look at the ceiling of your attic, or crawl space. On a bright, sunny day, go up and look for any signs of light filtering through the roof boards. If you see even the tiniest bit of light, you’ve got a problem. If light can get in, then water will as well.
  • Asphalt Debris – Over time, and with exposure to the elements, asphalt shingles begin to deteriorate. The gravel-like coating will slough off, and will end up washing down into the gutters and downspouts. Pay close attention to these areas. If you’re seeing a lot of this material being washed off the roof, it’s probably time to have it replaced.

Choosing Roofing Materials

Your home’s design, your budget, and the structure of your home will determine the ideal material. Ask a professional which material that they prefer using for roofing installation in Northville, Michigan. They will recommend, based on their experience, the best fit for your application. That said, there are several types of roofing materials available for residential use:

  • Asphalt Shingles – The most commonly used material is asphalt shingle. It is the least expensive option, comes in a variety of colors, styles and sizes, and is relatively easy to install.
  • Wood Shingles, or Shakes – Another beautiful, and long-lasting roof material to consider is wood shingles. They are long-lasting, and also come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.
  • Slate – This is an extremely heavy, and durable material that can be used on a modern structure, or an older home. They are much pricier than the previous options, but worth the investment.
  • Clay and Concrete Tiles – These are very heavy, and are not typically used in areas where snow loads are an issue. They are also highly porous and prone to damage from freeze-thaw cycles.
  • Metal – Some people prefer the look of a metal roof over other materials. As with slate, they are very durable and long-lasting. Some metal roofs can last for up to 100 years!

While it’s a good idea to base your choice of roofing material on aesthetic value and price, you also want to consider its protective properties. You want something that will hold up to the extreme weather conditions that Michigan is known for. Intense summer sun, heavy winds and rain from storms, frigid winter temperatures, snow load and ice are all factors in the roof’s longevity and performance. Choose the material that best suits the climate, your home’s design and the final cost.

Your roof is vital to your home. It keeps the elements, heat and cold out, and your family comfortable and cozy inside. If it isn’t performing as it should, contact us at Twelve Oaks Roofing. We are experts at residential roofing in Northville, Michigan and we take great pride in our work. The materials and techniques that we use are top-of-the-line, and the people we employ are highly trained, licensed professionals. You can rest assured that any work that we do for you is not just done right, but also on time, and within budget.