What to Know Before You Replace a Roof

A new roof is a big investment and there’s much to consider when choosing an installer and materials.

First, “A roofing warranty is only as good as the company that installs the materials,” says Kevin Hunter, co-owner of Windows, Doors & More in Fort Wayne. “If a problem develops, you have to go back to the company that installed the roof to start a claims process.”

If that company no longer exists, you may be out of luck.

“It’s a sad fact that a lot of companies don’t have the working capital to withstand a rainy day,” says Hunter. “The average lifespan of roofing and siding companies is about two years.”

It’s also important to choose materials wisely. Avoid inferior shingles like those sold at big-box home centers.

“You need a certain weight of shingle to withstand our Midwest weather,” says Hunter.

Along with sufficient asphalt per shingle, you’ll want shingles that are treated to resist streaking and mossing. Hunter uses Certainteed brand premium or premier asphalt shingles treated with a 3M Scotchguard product.

Every shingle is nailed six times to the underlayment. Although some building codes allow up to three roof layers, Hunter recommends no more than two.

“The weight of three layers can be hard on the sheeting and cause it to cup or dip between the rafters,” he says. “This is especially true now that manufacturers are making better, heavier shingles than they did 20 years ago.”

If your project requires a roofing tear-off, ask what precautions will be taken to prevent damage to landscaping. Windows, Doors & More uses a “roofer’s buggy” to catch debris.

Finally, choose your shingle color carefully.

“You’ll have to live with that shingle for a lot of years,” notes Hunter. He offers a photo computer program that previews how your home would look with various options.

Windows, Doors & More has been in business 37 years and serves homeowners within a 60-mile radius of Fort Wayne. Along with selling and installing home exterior products, Windows, Doors & More is a full-service flooring and lighting center. It also builds room additions/decks and is a one-stop kitchen and bath center with six licensed designers and an architect on staff.

Learn more by calling 1121 W. Washington Center Road, at wdmfactorystore.com.