Underlayment – The Hidden Protector in Your Roofing System
Your roof is the protective barrier which Shields your home and everything within it from the harsh outdoor elements. What many consumers are not aware of, is that there is much more that goes into a roof than just what you see looking at the finished product. One of those unseen components is underlayment, which is the hidden protector in any complete roofing system. Maybe you’ve never heard of underlayment, as most consumers haven’t. But as you continue to read, you’ll realize just how important underlayment is in the protection of your roof and the security of your home every single day.
What exactly is roof underlayment?
Underlayment is the protective Shield or barrier, which during the installation process is placed beneath roofing shingles. Depending on the type, it is a waterproof or water-resistant barrier which adds an extremely important layer of moisture protection. Roofing underlayment can be manufactured from a variety of different materials, for different applications. Some of these types include – rubberized, synthetic, polyethylene and felt. Different types of roofing underlayment provide different types of protection for your overall roofing system.
Why Do You Need Underlayment? …and Why Is It an Absolutely Essential Component of ANY Superior Roofing System?
The first thing to realize is the way a roof is able to protect a home, from the various components which have been proven to work together to provide the highest level of protection. Underlayment, as mentioned previously, is a moisture barrier. And although asphalt shingles can of course protect your home from rain, snow, and ice, water can still get past shingles. Wind driven rain can push water between shingles and trapped meltwater from ice dams can back-up between shingles as well. Shingles can also be lifted by damaging winds, and even blow off. Beyond that, as shingles approach the end of their lifespan they can deteriorate and become hardened or brittle. It is the underlayment beneath those shingles which sits atop and protects the roof deck (the wooden layer which a roof is installed upon) from moisture. Where even if some moisture penetrates through or between the shingles, the underlayment remains intact to protect the structure. Underlayment is a second line of defense that adds peace of mind and is well worth the investment.
Different Types of Underlayment for Different Parts of Your Roofing System
What might surprise you is different portions of your roof will require different types of underlayment. Typically, the general or larger areas of the roof will require a water-resistant underlayment which offers excellent protection. Today synthetic underlayments are the most common to use in these locations. While other areas of your roof will require waterproof underlayment, known as Ice and Water Shield and also referred to as a Leak Barrier. This type of underlayment is a peel and stick rubberized membrane used in vulnerable areas such as eaves and valleys. Along with other areas which have a high potential to leak, those being around chimneys, skylights, sun tunnels and other roof penetrations like plumbing vent pipes and roof vents, for example. Any skilled roofing contractor will know that these vulnerable areas require additional protection. If you happen to be watching the roof installation, you should be able to visibly see the installers applying these different types of underlayments to the different parts of your roof.
How This Affects Your Roof Systems Warranty
When you request a quote from any reputable roofing contractor, you want underlayment to be clearly identified and outlined within your roofing estimate. One reason being, that in the event you need to take advantage of your warranty, you will have documentation that your roofing contractor installed a roof that follows the protocols which any and every roofing manufacturer recommends.
Your Roofs Ability to Protect Your Home Follows the Old Adage That “It’s Only as Strong as The Weakest Link”.
Roofing underlayment may just seem like a small part of a big roof. But… the lack of underlayment … or…. The incorrect installation of underlayment …. or…. The wrong underlayment… could spell disaster for your roof. And although underlayment is only one component of a complete roofing system, when done wrong …or… not done at all, your entire roof and home could be in jeopardy.
How to Make Sure Your Roof System Is Installed Properly from Top to Bottom.
Of course, you want to make sure your roof is installed correctly, but how can you be certain you’re dealing with a pro? One great way is to look for a certified roofing contractor, and I highly suggest you read the article I just linked to, prior to hiring anyone to work on your roof. The reason is that only a certified roofing contractor has been trained and approved by the roofing manufacturer to install a complete roofing system the way the manufacturer has designed it to protect your home most effectively. Also, by working with this type of roofing contractor, you will likely be entitled to enhanced warranty coverage, due to the manufacturer knowing their product is being installed the RIGHT way!
Do you need a roof replacement?
If you’re in the process of looking for a roofing contractor to replace your current roof, and want to skip the hassle of trying to find a roofing contractor who meets the criteria that we’ve laid out for you here, and in many of our other consumer resource articles, then contact us here at Gauthier Roofing and Siding. We are a certified “Master Elite” roofing contractor (known as one of the hardest credentials, if not the hardest, to achieve in the roofing industry) by GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, and we will outline specifically how we will install a truly superior roofing system which is backed by enhanced warranty coverage. Request an Estimate Today!
The Importance of Choosing A Certified Roofing Contractor
For most people, their home is the greatest asset they own. Not only because of its value, but also because of the protection it offers and provides to those family members living within it. However, when buying a home, most consumers look at the kitchen, the living space, and the layout, while rarely considering the roof, which is the shield that will not only protect their family, but also those aspects of the house which sold them on it in the first place. When a roof is left without proper consideration and maintenance, it can lead to leaks, mold, and structural issues which can worsen quickly and lend themselves to concerns which never seemed likely just a short while prior. Although these neglect stories might seem rare to the typical consumer, here at Gauthier Roofing and Siding, we hear them all too often. So how do you protect yourself from these potential roof problems?
Schedule annual roofing inspections and any necessary maintenance checks on your roof.
This doesn’t mean going up on the roof yourself and looking around. This means calling a roofing professional who is trained and who will be able to identify issues, potential issues and early warning signs prior to them ever becoming a real problem. This is someone who’s a roofing specialist and who will be able to inspect and diagnose your roof and provide you with a great deal of peace of mind. This doesn’t mean flagging down the first roofer you see. Rather, to ensure it is analyzed properly, it means reaching out to a certified roofing contractor.
What is the difference between a trained and certified roofing contractor and a typical roofer?
Great question, and one most people never consider. Unfortunately, in the roofing industry, there are a lot of outfits and individuals who at some point decide they want to make a quick buck. So, they buy a nail gun, borrow a truck, call themselves XYZ Roofing and start selling jobs to unaware consumers who are thrilled at the thought of getting a great deal on a new roof. Now, although it is never our intention to criticize or put any other roofing contractor down, it is our company and the other high quality certified roofing contractors who get the call when the job is done poorly and the roof they’ve had installed is nothing like the roof they were initially promised. The reason this issue is so rampant is due to the fact that the roofing industry is what is called an unregulated industry. This means there is no trade school, diploma program, course, certificate, or minimum standard which someone needs to go through or meet prior to opening a roofing business. Sadly, this is what causes many consumers to hire contractors who simply are not qualified, and who do not posses the necessary skill and training to be able to effectively provide the highest quality of work and craftsmanship.
That’s why you need to look for a certified roofing contractor
You see, many Roofing Material Manufacturers began to recognize this very problem and realized there was actually something they could do about it. They began to develop factory certified training programs, where roofing contractors needed to be have specific credentials and be approved, then if their installers were able to pass the rigorous standards set forth by the manufacturer, they would be awarded with a factory certified installers certificate.
Maybe You’re Wondering How This Benefits You and Your Homes Future Roof?
Another great question, first and foremost, it gives the consumer the advantage of being able to request whether a contractor is factory certified to install a particular roofing product. Also, it means the roofing technicians are trained specifically on how to work with and install their specific roofing product properly and have committed to doing so to maintain their certification. This ensures your roof will truly last the test of time because it is installed “right” by skilled and trained professionals…. And last but not least, because these manufacturers know their products are being installed properly, they grant and permit these “elite” contractors to offer “enhanced warranty coverage” meaning a roof warranty provided by a certified roofing contractor covers more and covers a far greater amount of time beyond what the typical roofing company can offer.
How Can I Be Sure My Roofing Contractor is certified?
Ask to see proof! Any roofing company who is certified, would be more than happy to show you their factory certification. This is because these certifications are considered somewhat of a “badge of honor” inside the roofing industry. But don’t stop there, if they claim they are certified, ask who the certification is through, go to that specific roofing product manufacturers website, and search for the company. Almost all of these manufacturers have a factory certified installers directory which will allow you to confirm they truly are. Also, when searching for a contractor online, it’s a great idea to review their website and look to see whether they mention if they are factory certified. As mentioned before, any roofing company who IS certified is going to be promoting it.
Are you looking for a factory certified roofing contractor in the Windsor ON area?
If so, be sure to reach out to us here at Gauthier Roofing and Siding. We are not just factory certified, but a GAF Master Elite Contractor which is their highest credential allowing us to offer all, not just some, of their enhanced warranty options. GAF was founded in 1886 and is the largest roofing manufacturer in all of North America. For greater peace of mind, take advantage of our GAF Master Elite Certification. Due to GAF’s stringent standards less than 3% of all roofing contractors in North America have achieved this elite certification status. Click here to request a roofing estimate today.
Why Quality Should Be Number One When Investing in a New Roof
When considering investing in a new roof, it’s important to consider various factors which will determine the finished product you receive.
Though some of these factors are more important than others… one is of the utmost importance. What is the primary most important factor that every homeowner should take into deep consideration when looking to invest in a new roof?
Without question, it’s QUALITY. Depending on the particular company you hire, their level of experience, particular skill set, the certifications they hold, and how well they’re trained, are all going to factor into their abilities as a contractor and therefore the level of quality and craftsmanship a roofing contractor is able to provide.
Here’s the thing: it’s no secret that replacing an existing roof is an expensive home improvement project. Especially when you consider your roof is the shield which protects your home, the space within it, your valuables and belongings, and most importantly, your family and the people who live within it. Which is why trying to find the “best deal”, and therefore bargaining with the quality of the new roof, is very risky business.
That’s why here at Gauthier Roofing and Siding we’ve compiled a short list of some of the most important factors to be aware of when considering the replacement of your roof, along with what to look for in a potential roofing company, so you can be sure the quality of your roof, and ultimately your home, belongings, and the people who live within it are fully protected. We call these the roof replacement keys to quality.
What Are the Keys to Quality When Getting Your Roof Replaced?
Let’s go through some of these Roofing keys to Quality together…
Key to Quality for Your New Roof #1 – High Quality Materials
To the average consumer one asphalt shingle may appear to be no different than the next shingle. But, it’s important to realize all roofing materials are simply not created equal.
This is why different shingles have different manufacturers warranties, and they’re made and tested to withstand different types of weather, climates, and conditions.
The first thing you need to know is – Is the material which will be installed on your roof to protect your home a high-quality shingle (versus a budget shingle). To the average consumer this may seem like semantics, and not that important, but to a roofing contractor or consumer who is truly in the “know”, they understand just how important this choice could be for your home and its protection for years to come.
Make sure you do your research prior to ever calling a roofing contractor. This is so you have an understanding of what high quality roofing materials are, what are the best roofing material brands, which type of shingle is right for your roof… which will lead you to the answer of who provides and installs the right roofing products for your home.
Knowing this will allow you to have a level of discretion far above the average consumer looking to replace their roof. Also, it will allow you to immediately identify roofing contractors that carry the high-quality products you want installed to protect your home…. And this leads us into our next key to Quality.
Key to Quality for Your New Roof #2 – Manufacturer Installation Certifications
Of course, the quality of the roofing material being installed on your home is extremely important, however if that roofing shingle is installed by an unqualified Roofing technician, somebody who doesn’t know or understand how the manufacturer recommends that specific shingle should be installed onto a roof to get the longest life and the manufacturers greatest level of protection – much of the benefit you derive from the high-quality material is lost.
You could have the highest quality materials sitting on your roof only to have leaks or other issues within a few years, putting your home at the mercy of the elements.
The way to circumvent this problem is to ensure your roofing contractor is certified to work with the materials they will be installing on your home. This typically means they’ve been trained and certified by the manufacturer on how to properly install their roofing shingles onto your home.
This doesn’t just mean you can have confidence your house will have a level of durability which will last for years to come, but also, when these particular roofing products are installed by somebody who is certified to work with them, it allows that roofing contractor to offer you, the consumer, enhanced warranty coverage, a level of protection far greater than the typical warranty the average roofer can provide.
When looking for a roofing contractor to install a new roof on your home look for one who is certified and one who is trained to install the products they recommend and sell (Some examples of excellent asphalt shingle manufacturers are GAF, CertainTeed, Owens Corning, IKO, and BP) To learn even more about the value of these certifications, you can read our blog on the importance of choosing a certified roofing contractor which provides a more expansive explanation on the topic.
Key to Quality for Your New Roof #3 – Purchasing a Complete Roof System
It’s easy for a consumer to fall under the impression that a new roof simply means having some shingles slapped down to the top of your house. Yet a truly effective and durable roof is never just some nails and shingles alone. Rather they are just part of a complete roofing system, designed from start to finish to provide the maximum amount of protection to your home. But maybe you’re wondering what’s included in a complete Roof System?
Here are some of the components which make this system truly effective.
Underneath those shingles is a wooden deck and to just nail those shingles to that deck without any additional protection between, could potentially leave your home extremely vulnerable in certain conditions. Which is why between the shingles and the roof deck, there’s a material called synthetic underlayment which is the hidden protector in your roofing system.
Underlayment is vital for moisture protection and more, and ANY roofing contractor aware of the value in a “roofing system approach” is going to apply this layer of protection beneath the shingles.
Note: Tar paper could be used instead of synthetic underlayment and there is nothing wrong with using it. It’s just that with advancements in technology and the material available, there are better options today, which are the synthetic underlayments. This has evolved in much the same way that tar paper and other papers, that were used in the past behind siding, have gone by the wayside and been replaced by housewraps.
Ice and Water Shield
This is a peel and stick premium waterproofing underlayment used in the most vulnerable areas of the roof. It is so good that because of its composition, even the nails that pass through it to hold the shingles in place are sealed.
If a leak is going to occur, the most common places for it to happen is within valleys and roof penetrations. Common penetrations are chimneys, roof vents, plumbing vent pipes and skylights.
These areas need that critical extra protection, which ice and water shield provides. Installed at the eaves and in low pitch areas this membrane will also protect your home from potential leaks caused by Ice dams and wind driven rain.
What might surprise you is just how many roofing contractors forgo installing ice and water Shield because of the additional costs in both material prices and labor/installation time associated with laying it. However, in a climate like ours here in Ontario Canada, a roof without ice and water Shield is potentially vulnerable … And sadly, in some cases it’s only a matter of time before water will penetrate.
As an educated consumer, you want to be able to ask the roofing contractor who you’re potentially going to hire, how they are going to address the vulnerable areas of your roof. You want to hear them tell you, and more importantly see it written in the proposal.
When installing a roof, ventilation is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood aspects of a complete roofing system.
A high-quality roof will have good ventilation and it’s important to be aware that it’s not just the rooftop ventilation that’s important, but the intake air at the bottom as well, typically achieved through the soffits.
A proper balance of intake and exhaust air is how the attic cavity should be ventilated. Even though soffit venting is not part of a roof replacement project, it’s important to be aware of it so that you have the opportunity to address it if need be.
Proper ventilation keeps your attic as close to the outside temperature as possible year-round, which is what you want. Too little ventilation means excessive heat in the summer months, and the potential for condensation and ice dams in the winter months since the warm moisture laden air that escapes into the attic from heating the home lingers instead of evacuating out. Speaking of warm air escaping into the attic during the winter months, you should also make sure you minimize this by having the proper amount of insulation in your attic cavity and also making sure that it’s sealed off well at penetrations through your vapour barrier.
Poor ventilation and insulation can lead to a host of detrimental issues over time. Some of these are excess moisture, mold, deterioration, and of course, increased home energy costs.
Pro Tip: NEVER mix different types of roof ventilation in the same attic cavity. They should all be the same type, drawing equally from the intake air at the bottom.
A mistake commonly seen is to add turbines in with regular roof vents, but this creates the likely potential that the turbine will draw air in through a regular vent near it, as opposed to drawing in from the intake air source at the bottom which is what should happen.
A professional roofing contractor will be able to design a roof ventilation system suited to your particular home and also rectify, or at least advise on your intake air (whether in the soffits or elsewhere on homes with no overhang).
4 – Starter Shingles
These are a unique type of shingle which have a strip of tar to hold the edges of the roof down and prevent blow off in the event of a storm or heavy winds.
Again, this is another important component which is
crucial to the protection of your roof. If these shingles are not present on your roof it will leave it in a vulnerable and weakened position.
Sadly, this another item that is often skipped by many roofing contractors because of the costs associated with purchasing this specifically designed shingle. There are lower cost alternatives, but always best and safest to use the specific product designed, warranted and recommended by the shingle manufacturer.
When you speak to your potential roofing contractor, ensure they are going to install the specific starter shingles on your home that are suited for the shingle selected, to get the most protection in the event of powerful storms and heavy winds.
5 – Ridge Cap Shingles
These are special shingles that cover the ridge and hips of your roof, where two slopes meet, which is a naturally vulnerable area.
A ridge cap shingle protects and finishes of these details. Like starter shingles these are also specialized shingles designed for a specific purpose, and ensuring that your roofing contractor is using these specially made shingles is key.
Some roofing contractors, to cut costs, will actually take a regular 3-tab entry level shingle, cut it into pieces, and use those pieces instead of ridge cap shingles. It works, but again best to use the specific product designed, warranted and recommended by the shingle manufacturer.
Proper Ridge Cap Shingles are another extremely important component of a roof system.
6 – A High-Quality Lifetime Shingle
Of course, no roof would be complete without the application and installation of a high-quality, highly tested, durable shingle that is made for your home and the climate of the area in which you live.
Fiberglass based premium asphalt shingles are standing the test of time and the problem plagued organic based shingles of the past are no longer even being manufactured.
All the asphalt shingle manufacturers I previously mentioned offer a variety of fiberglass based shingles in an abundance of styles and colours. It’s a combination of these six different components when combined and installed by a Roofing technician who is certified and trained to install these particular shingles on your home, that you get a truly dependable and long-lasting roofing system.
The last thing you want is a roof which passes the “eye” test upon completion, only to leave you with issues, leaks, and lost shingles later. Don’t hesitate to ask your roofing contractor whether they install a roofing system which has at least the components I’ve outlined above.
Please keep in mind that you should still complete your due diligence and research certified contractors online. Why not deal with the best of the best? You can learn how to choose the “right” contractor here What to Look For When Hiring A Roofing Contractor.
Although it will be more expensive for the roofing contractor to install a quality system, and therefore more expensive for the consumer to have a system like this installed…. Over the years, a high-quality systems approach roof is really the bargain, and any other approach which seemed like a super great deal up front could turn into a money put accompanied by a whole lot of frustration later.
Key to Quality for Your New Roof #4 – Your Roof Warranty
Although I addressed warranties briefly a few moments ago, it’s important I quickly touch on it again to impress upon you that the scope of the warranty and what it covers is crucial. Shingle warranties typically have a short 100% coverage period (ex. 10 years) and then coverage gets pro-rated following this, which means that you get less coverage as the shingle ages.
With enhanced warranty coverage offered through certified contractors the pro-ration is oftentimes eliminated, meaning you get 100% coverage for the entire warranty timeframe (ex. 50 years), so your protection doesn’t get weaker as the shingle ages. The average consumer doesn’t take the time to read shingle warranties, but it’s strongly recommended as the coverage varies significantly.
Below Is A Short Video About The Difference An Enhanced Warranty (In This Case GAF)
Can Make Towards The Protection Of Your New Roof!
The time to find this out is before you have your new roof installed, and not being frustrated later when you find out your coverage is weak and you’re digging deep into your pocket once again.
Key to Quality for Your New Roof #5 – Upgraded and Additional Training for Roof Installers and Technicians
Another great question to ask any roofing contractor is what type of additional training their technicians and installers go through. The highest quality roofing contractors almost always have additional training programs or in-house training which allows their technicians to stay on The Cutting Edge, being able to offer and install the highest levels of quality and provide a level of craftsmanship that other roofers just simply aren’t able to match.
Look for proof as to whether the contractor you’re considering does provide additional or ongoing or in-house training to their staff. And although this may not be a guarantee of quality, it is certainly indicative of it.
What we’ve just done is covered the 5 keys for quality to be aware of when considering replacing and installing your new roof.
Are there other signs and considerations to make during the selection process? Sure, but if you remember these five keys to Quality, you’ll be able to make an informed and educated decision, which puts you the consumer in a good place.
Let’s quickly summarize the keys to quality one more time…
A Quick Summary of the Keys to Quality for Your New Roof
- High Quality Materials
- Manufacturer Installation Certifications
- Purchasing a Complete Roof System
- Your Roof Warranty
- Upgraded and Additional Training for Roof Installers and Technicians
So, you’re now ready to start searching for a roofing contractor! If you’re a resident of Windsor and Area… We invite you to contact us hear at Gauthier Roofing and Siding where we don’t only meet all five of these keys to Quality, but exceed them!
In fact, we’re honored to have won multiple Awards for the level of quality and craftsmanship we offer, and the service we provide to our clients.
You can also see what our customers have to say by checking out our reviews on Google, BBB, Facebook, Yellow Pages, TrustedPros and more. So if you would like to speak to us about installing a new roofing system on your home, we invite you to please request an estimate and we look forward to serving you soon and adding you to our family of over 35,000 satisfied customers.
I Have A Leaking Skylight! What Do I Do?
Do you have a leaking skylight? A skylight is a feature which has the capability to completely change the ambiance of your home. It lightens and brightens the space, can open up rooms causing them to feel much larger, while at the same time, creating an amazing connection to the outdoors and nature. The benefits of a skylight (or a sun tunnel) are innumerable…. …However, there is nothing worse than having a leaking skylight… But don’t worry, here at Gauthier Roofing and Siding we are certified VELUX skylight and sun tunnel installers, and we can tell you exactly what you need to do to solve your skylight troubles.
A Band-Aid Skylight Solution – Your first order of business
The severity of the issue is going to determine the initial steps you should take. The first question to ask yourself is – does it just appear to be condensation or small amounts of moisture on the glass or frame …or… am I seeing water drip from the unit, water damage on the ceiling, or a large build up of moisture which is clearly a problem? If all you see at this point is condensation and small trace amounts of moisture and only in cold temperatures, relax and take a breath. Although it could be a leak, many homeowners have mistakenly thought their skylights were leaking, only to realize it was due to the conditions in the house, or another cause such as kitchen or bathroom activity releasing moisture causing it to build up creating the illusion of a leak. The good news is a minor leak (although it should not occur) typically won’t cause large amounts of damage if quickly recognized and then resolved. However, if left and not fixed, a small leak can lead to very expensive restoration repairs, high labour costs, coupled with large amounts of frustration for you the homeowner. Therefore, if you’re seeing a large amount of water building, your first step is to protect your home, furniture and valuables. Remove any furniture and other items directly below and surrounding the leak. If you’re seeing a drip, find a large container to place under the unit to collect all the water to protect your carpets, hardwood, floors and home in general. (Pro Tip – make sure you don’t use a container which is too large… or… be sure to empty the water frequently. This is to ensure you’re able to lift the container to empty it. We’ve heard stories of people spilling containers which can lead to more hassle than the leak would have caused). If you don’t visually see a leak but you’re still concerned, purchase a plastic waterproof sheet or large tarpaulin which can be placed on the floor to protect your home while you determine a more permanent solution. The next step is to ask this question…
Why is my skylight / sun tunnel leaking?
It’s important to recognize there are numerous reasons why your skylight or sun tunnel could be leaking and potentially dripping into your home. It could be the result of one of the following, or even a possible cause which is not listed here. Let’s go through them…
- A defective or broken outer casing on the unit
- Extreme weather damage
- Poor quality materials and/or sealing
- Damage resulting from animals or critters (Although rare)
- Low quality or shoddy installation
- Damaged or broken glass or plastic if it’s a dome
- Shifts in the structure of the home
- Human damage (DIY projects gone wrong)
- General roof, sealing, and other material deterioration
Depending on what caused your skylight or sun tunnel to begin leaking, will likely be a factor in determining which avenue you should take when considering the right decision for getting it repaired, replaced, or even removed.
How should I go about getting my skylight fixed?
As mentioned, a moment ago, the underlying cause will likely play a factor in HOW specifically you should go about getting your skylight or sun tunnel fixed. But here are a few additional questions you should consider.
How long ago was your skylight or sun tunnel installed?
If the installation was recent, you will likely be protected by a manufacturers or workmanship warranty. This leads up to our next question which is…
Does my skylight or sun tunnel have a warranty …and/or… Would it be combined along with my roofing warranty?
Review the documentation from the company who installed it for you and be sure to check to see whether or not you’re covered by a warranty. If you are, your best course of action is to follow up with the installation company and inform them of the leak. Sadly, if the installation was completed by a less than reputable company, you may have no warranty at all. You can avoid this potential issue by reading our article called Why Quality Should Be Number One When Investing in a New Roof.
Is my skylight covered, does my warranty coverage include the type of damage which caused the leak?
If you happened to cause some accidental damage to your skylight, I’m sorry to inform you, but the warranty will likely be void. However, if it is a manufactures defect, you’ve got a very high chance of getting coverage. Your best-case scenario is if it’s covered by the manufacturer and was put in place by a high-quality installation company who will happily resolve the issue for you. Worst case scenario is you’re not covered by a warranty, or don’t know who installed it. If that’s the case, here’s your best course of action.
What to do if you’ve got a skylight with a leak and you’re not covered by warranty?
The first thing you should do is try and determine the brand of skylight or sun tunnel you own, be sure to look closely at the unit for any branding, oftentimes on the inside of the skylight frame. (Pro Tip – if access to the skylight is difficult use binoculars or zoom in with a camera to search the inner skylight frame for any identification information). If you see a brand name, here’s what you need to do… Go online to the manufacturers website and contact them directly. Next, ask them what their recommendations are for your situation. Most manufacturers have factory installation certification training for contractors who use their products. This means they will likely have a directory of factory certified installers with one or more operating within your location or area. This can give you a level of confidence in knowing that the contractor or skylight installation/repair team you’re contacting is knowledgeable and trained to handle your specific brand of skylight or sun tunnel. But regardless, even though they’re factory certified by the manufacturer, you should still complete your due diligence and research them online to be sure you’re dealing with a reputable company. You can learn how to choose the “right” contractor here What to Look For When Hiring A Roofing Contractor. In the case that you’re unsure of what type of skylight or sun tunnel you own, you should search for a “skylight installation company” or a roofing company who offers skylight installation and repairs again using the process in the article I mentioned a moment ago on how to choose the “right” contractor. But remember, it doesn’t matter which situation you’re currently in and which course of action you need to take, a leaking skylight or sun tunnel is NOT typical. Be sure to inquire on how it occurred as it may be due to a larger underlying issue you aren’t aware of, and when hiring a contractor to repair or replace your skylight, select a company who is going to offer warranty coverage which will protect you as far into the future as possible.
Roofing Quotes 101 – What to Look For When Hiring A Roofing Contractor
Repairing or replacing your roof is a major investment. When the time comes to select the right roofing contractor for your project, it’s important you explore all your options and ensure you get the highest value relative to the best price possible.
During your search for the right roofing contractor, make sure you’re focused on the following things:
The Roofing Contractor Selection Process and Due Diligence
You shouldn’t just pick the first contractor who provides you with a quote. Different contractors offer varied services which means differences in pricing, material quality, level of service, warranty coverage and many other factors. Therefore, obtaining the opinion of more than one roofing contractor is vital in ensuring you’re hiring someone who can meet your specific needs for the best price possible.
Even before you solicit quotes, try and find references for the companies you are considering. Be sure to complete your basic due diligence prior to calling them. This is to confirm they’re a quality roofing contractor, and also to confirm they have a good reputation and are highly recommended by their previous or past clients. This MUST be done prior to ever inviting a roofing contractor to begin work on your roof. Besides speaking to family and friends, online reviews are a quick and easy way to source reputable roofing contractors. It’s also easy enough to Google a businesses address to see if they have been successful enough to operate from an actual business establishment, or simply operate from a residence.
Also, if it’s the busy season be cautious of a roofing contractor who can provide a fast quote and start the job quickly. Good roofing contractors will be busy, if not that should raise a red flag. Do you really want a roofing contractor that nobody else does?
Ensure Proper Roofer Licensing
If you live in a province or state where a contractor’s license is required, or a license to work at particular heights, make sure whoever you’re considering is fully licensed. Before you begin working with anyone, research the requirements for a roofing contractor in your area. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about their licenses. Even better, ask to see proof of those licenses, and other credentials, like proper insurance coverage.
(Pro Roofing Tip: Another great thing to look for during your contractor selection and due diligence process are awards the company has won for integrity and the level and quality of their work, this can be an excellent indicator that you’re dealing with a pro.)
Having a licensed and insured roofer is not only important, it’s a mandatory for your protection as a homeowner. Depending on where you’re located, some of the most common things to look for are.
- Contractor Licensing (Be sure to check the specifics for your area)
- Liability Insurance
- Workers Safety Insurance (In Ontario known as WSIB)
- Working at Heights Certification
It is important to remember though; these licenses do not guarantee the level of service and craftsmanship a roofing contractor will provide. They only confirm the contractor is properly licensed and insured which will protect you (the homeowner) and your property in the event of an accident.
Roofing Project Job Site Clean-Up
Repairing or replacing a roof can be a messy job. After your roofing project is completed, clean-up usually follows. Does the quote mention whether or not the company’s team will do all of the post-job clean-up? You may not be well-equipped to handle all of the leftover debris, so look for a contractor who explicitly states all clean-up with be included along with their other agreed upon responsibilities.
Roofing Refuse Container Placement
As part of the clean-up process, contractors will oftentimes place a refuse container on the job site for easy disposal of roof debris. These containers are usually large, so finding the appropriate placement for it can be a task in and of itself.
If you have a concrete driveway, placing one of these heavy containers on it may cause damage. This will lead to additional repair costs that your contractor is likely not responsible for. Make sure whoever you hire knows where to place their refuse container so that it doesn’t cause any damage to your property.
Typically the best-case scenario is to hire a roofing company who uses dump trailers or dump trucks, rather than a stationary bin or dumpster, this prevents any potential bin contact damage. Also if a roofing contractor owns their own dump trailers, for example, they don’t have to rely on an outside companies schedule for drop off and pick up (common with bins), enabling better service to you the customer.
Roofing Project Weather Protection
Weather is unpredictable. If any heavy rain transpires in the middle of a roofing project, a half-installed roof could mean rainwater entering the interior of your home leading to water damage. How will the contractor protect your home?
Your roofer should have a plan in place for unexpected situations like this. A good roofer will cover your roof in a tarp or synthetic underlayment to protect from the elements in the case of a surprise rainfall or storm.
Your roof is meant to last and the vast majority of (reputable) roofing companies will offer a warranty to cover long-term protection of your roof.
Make sure you understand what the warranty coverage is on your new roof and make sure you have the details of the warranty in writing. Some of the highest quality roofing contractors may be manufacturer or factory certified to install a particular roofing product. This is something to pay very close attention to when choosing a contractor. Why? Because these factory certified installers are usually able to offer enhanced warranty coverage, which offers far more protection compared to what the typical roofing company can offer.
(Pro Roofing Tip: Sometimes consumers or the contractors will request a “cash job” which is off the books, allowing the consumer to save the taxes and the contractor to collect all the revenue from the job free and clear. However, when opting for a “cash job” you are ineligible to be covered by the manufacturers warranty. This means you may save a couple of bucks up front, but long term and in the event you encounter an issue with your roof, or an injury during installation, this lack of warranty and insurance coverage could cost you a fortune).
What You Need To Remember For Your Roofing Project
A high-quality roof is built to last, and a newly replaced roof should last for at least another 15-20 years. Make sure your contractor offers a warranty that protects you in the event of a roofing misfortune.
A Quick Summary of Steps For Your Roofing Quote
Here is a quick summary of the steps outlined in this article and these are the same steps you should be using to ensure you hire a licensed, highly qualified and skillful roofing contractor.
- Take your time when selecting a roofing contractor and be very thorough with your due diligence when selecting one.
- Ensure your roofing contractor has the proper licensing (Important note: It will be different depending on the area you live)
- Inquire about the roofing project job-site clean-up process, and whether it’s included.
- Ask about the roofing refuse container placement, and type of container to guarantee your property is protected.
- Learn about your roofs warranty (how long is it?, what does it include?, etc.) and make sure you get it in writing
Whatever your roofing concerns may be, our team at Gauthier Roofing and Sliding can help you complete any project. Visit or get in touch today to explore our services.