Qualities to Look for in Roofers for Your Home

After you have determined whether your roof is due for a replacement or a repair, perhaps the most difficult step is choosing a roofing contractor near you. When choosing between roofers in your area, there are a few major credentials that you need to look for.

Licensed and Insured

One of the first things that you should search for in a roofing company is checking whether they are fully licensed and insured. The contractor should have insurance that covers all employees and subcontractors. Feel free to request their business license and a copy of their insurance for any roofing contractor you are considering doing work on your home.

Knowledgable

It is important to choose a roofing contractor that is knowledgable in good roofing practices, installation, dealing with problem spots, and roof flashing details. In addition, it is helpful to choose a roofer that knows about different shingles, grades, colors, low slope roofing, and flat roofing materials. Perhaps, your roofing contractor can suggest something for your roof that you had not thought of previously.

Experience

While a roofer doesn’t necessarily need many years of experience to do a good job, it is beneficial to choose a contractor that has seen a variety of jobs. Experience is great in the event that you choose a not as common shingle material, or if your roof has interesting slopes, or any other factor. Then, your roofer of choice can share a time when they had previously worked with that material, or on another house similar to yours.

Testimonials

Speaking of experience, it is also a good idea to ask roofers for some testimonials, or feedback, from previous clients. This can help you get a better feel of what it is like to work with different roofers. It is also a good idea to reach out to neighbors, friends, and family when choosing a roofer to see who they would recommend to get the job done.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The Better Business Bureau is a great resource to look at reputable companies in your area. Checking for different roofers’ ratings can help you find out more about them from an unbiased source. Always be on the lookout for an “A+” rating by the Better Business Bureau when choosing between roofing contractors.

Slate Roofs: What You Should Know About Them

Origin of Slate Roofing

The first slate quarry in the United States opened in 1785 in Pennsylvania; however, it wasn’t until the middle of the nineteenth century that slate roofs saw more demand and popularity. This was largely due to an increasing population, advances in technology developed for quarrying, and the extension of the railroad. In addition, several slate quarries opened in Virginia, New York, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. Near the turn of the century, the United States slate roofing industry reached its all time high with over 200 slate quarries.

Slate saw a drop in demand around 1915 due to an an increase in competition from substitute materials, including asphalt shingles. These alternative materials then surpassed slate in popularity since they were  offered at a cheaper price. This is because they could be mass produced, more easily transported, and had a simpler installation than slate roofs. However, there has been a recent increase in popularity in slate roofs due to their obvious advantages over asphalt roofs.

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Photo: GAF TruSlate Onyx Black slate shingles

Slate vs. Asphalt Roofing

The biggest differences between asphalt and slate roofs is the price tag and the longevity. Asphalt shingles are one of the least expensive materials, while slate roofs tend to be one of the most expensive options. One of the biggest drawbacks of asphalt shingles is their short lifespan; asphalt shingles only last around 25 years. This is a small period of time compared to slate roof tiles, which last over twice as long. Some slate roofs can even last for over 2 centuries.

Benefits of Slate Roofing

Aside from their natural beauty, slate roofs are best known for their longevity and fire resistance. As we discussed, slate roofing tiles outlast asphalt roofs by a long shot. This is a major advantage, especially for those who plan to stay in their homes for some time. Additionally, slate roofs are available in a variety of colors including: gray, black, blue-gray, red, green, and purple.

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Slate Roofing Tiles

Since slate roofs are a huge investment for your home, it is worth it to perform regular maintenance and inspections on your roof. After all, regular maintenance is important to maintain the longevity of your slate roof. Maintenance includes cleaning out gutters and replacing broken tiles. Additionally, an overall inspection on your slate roof should be performed by an experienced professional approximately every 5 to 7 years.

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns of slate roofs is the installation. Slate shingles are extremely fragile and prone to breaking or cracking, which is why it is important to hire a professional with experience in slate roofing. Slate is a beautiful option for any home and has a natural beauty unlike any other roofing option.