In This Economy, Don’t Replace Your Roof If All It Needs Is Roof Repair

Let’s face it – the prospect of a leaking roof, particularly in the middle of winter, is a scary proposition. There is no arguing that a brand new roof will provide you with a greater sense of security than repairing a damaged roof far beyond its serviceable life. Because of this reason, many unscrupulous roofing contractors will use scare tactics to get homeowners to opt for a new roof replacement versus a repair on a roof that has much life remaining. A quick review of a few critical items will help you feel more confident if you should be seeking replacement or looking to repair.

First, you need to evaluate different criteria based on whether your suspicion that you need a new roof is based on either a roof leak or a roof that is dirty (stains, moss, etc.) If the primary reason you think it is time for a new roof is because of a roof leak, you need to clarify a few issues regarding that leak.

Determine whether or not the roof leaks in a single or multiple locations, and whether it is in a location that has leaked and been repaired repeatedly. A single location, leaking for the first time, usually is not by itself going to be an absolute indication of needing to replace the entire roof. More likely that not, a single component of the roofing system (flashing, vent, a mis-nailed shingle) has failed but the rest of the roof still could be in decent condition. Leaks in multiple locations bode more ominous results.

If multiple locations are having shingles loosen, nails rise, flashing fail, the chance of the roof being worn out are much higher. When the same location has leaked and been repaired repeatedly, it may never have been adequately addressed and the same mistaken repair may be continuing to be performed. It will be critical to get an assessment for a roof leak repair expert as to whether there is something un-repairable or if the past repairs addressed the wrong issue. Don’t let one bad spot to cost you an entire new roof!

Next, look at the roof leak location. Is it below, or in somewhat of a direct path below a skylight, vent, or pipe? Is it possibly at a valley or roof intersection where either on sections of roof meets another or where the roof meets a wall? Or rather is it out in middle of roof field? Leaks at intersections and valleys usually do not indicate by themselves that a roof is finished. More likely, there are flashing issues. Leaks in the middle of a roof field with no nearby intrusions into the roof can be a bad sign.

Remember, there are very few leaks that are un-repairable. The issue becomes whether the roof has adequate remaining life to justify the repair’s cost.

If an unsightly roof (fungus or mildew stains or moss growth) is what is making you think you need a new roof, you need to learn more about what is under the stains or moss. There is not always a correlation to a dirty roof and it’s life being over. There are most certainly roofs that will not withstand even the gentlest possible roof cleaning without sustaining damage that puts it in poor condition. Particularly with moss, as experienced in the Portland Oregon area, there are some moss types and infestations that cannot be properly dislodged without stressing a roof. If a roof is on the borderline to start with, such a roof is best left alone and the funds save for going toward a new roof.

That exception being made, most roofs that are simply dirty would benefit for the gentlest cleaning available to solve its particular issue. Cleaning the roof will most often help maintain roof life, specifically where growths such as moss could cause “micro-dams” on the roof and result in damage. Always be sure that the roof has adequate life remaining so that your maintenance dollars will not be wasted.

For composition roofs (the most common type), granules, or lack there of, are the primary indicator of remaining roof life, much like the tread on a tire. If a roof consistently has lost a lot of its granules it is definitely time to replace it. Without an adequate amount of granule, which helps reflect the UV rays and protect the more sensitive lower layers of the material, the roof will soon be leaking. However, if the roof has enough granules that you consistently cannot see the underlying composition layers, the chances are good that, withstanding other issues, it might have more life remaining.

Even with adequate granule, if the roof’s shingles are starting to cup or curl upward, it may also be time to consider replacing. Cupping and curling often are signs of interior ventilation issues that result in excessive attic temperatures. It is a problem you would want corrected with the new roof installation because it takes life off a roof that otherwise might have had more life remaining.

Loose or dislodged shingles may signal an unfortunate, premature death of your roof. Quite often this is a sign that the roofing material was victim of an installation faulty, even if the material itself has more life remaining. Similar to leaks, the number of trouble spots will tell you a lot. If it is only one trouble spot, you will likely only need to go with a repair. Multiple locations, however, indicate the bad installation mentioned above and you will need to get it replaced.

The majority of calls we receive thinking a new roof is needed as a result of homeowner diagnosed issues actually end up being repairs. However, if the homeowner has taken the roof’s age as part of equation (for instance, the roof is near or beyond the manufacturer’s age span,) then the results reverse and we see the majority of those roofs requiring replacement. Quite often, homeowners understandably don’t know age of their roof, for instance if they moved into a pre-existing home where the previous owners were not original owners. In that case, they are very dependent on an expert’s opinion, but it must also be an honest one! In the Tulsa area check out the experts in Tulsa.

Regardless of what is causing you to thing you may need a new roof, slow down. A day of two of analyzing these critical considerations may save you thousands of dollars.


Formica Installed Over Formica Countertops or Cabinets

People always ask me; “Formica laminate sheets” For some reason they think the existing plastic laminate might need to be removed before a new color can be glued on. As long as the existing glue bond is in excellent condition, new plastic can be applied directly on top of the old plastic.

In this article I will explain how this process of recovering is supposed to be done. It is a popular method of remodeling old countertops and cabinets.

Once the color has been selected, the job has been measured and the materials are in hand, the new Formica gets cut a little bigger than the existing areas that will be covered over.

The entire surface where the new plastic will be glued is then thoroughly cleaned with lacquer thinner or a degeasing solution.

The next step is to sand every inch of the countertop or cabinet space where the Formica will be installed with forty grit sand paper. This can be done with a belt sander or hand block sander. Most professional installers use both.

A shop vacuum is used often throughout the entire process. All of the dust needs to be removed before any glue is applied. It is very important that the surfaces are continually checked for dust and chips of laminate before any glue gets applied to a surface.

The process of fitting the Formica begins now. Walls, floors and ceilings are never perfectly straight. The edges of the plastic are straight. Therefore, the Formica needs to be fitted to the humps and bumps in the walls, floors and ceilings. This fitting process is generally done as each piece is ready to be applied to the existing laminate.

So, the way this works is you fit a piece and then glue it down. Then select the next piece of Formica, fit it and glue it down. The laminate can be cut with tin snips along the scribe lines to make the plastic fit the walls, floors and ceiling.

Once a new piece of Formica is applied to the existing Formica it is rolled and trimmed flush with a high-speed router.

After a piece of laminate is trimmed off, it is either filed or sanded flush with the edges of the countertop or cabinet.

The final step in applying Formica over existing laminate is cleaning off the excess contact adhesive with lacquer thinner. This is done by dampening a cloth with the paint thinner and then wiping it on the glue that needs to be removed. The rag should be plenty wet, but not dripping wet.

Having old laminate covered with new will cost less than replacing your existing cabinets or countertops. It is a great way to remodel your kitchen or bathroom cabinets or counters.

This process of Formica being installed over Formica is called several different things. Some people refer to this as recovering and others call it re-laminating.