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Roofing Knowledge Base - Informed customers level the playing field.

Roof works of Virginia understands that informed customers are confident customers. Use this page as an initial means to educate yourself prior to qualifying your need(s) with an inspection or bid from a professional roofing contractor. The brown arrows will bring you back to this navigation menu.

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Age (How long are roofing systems expected to last?) - Most roofing products are engineered for at least a 20 year life span. However, Roof Works of Virginia Inc. offers products and services that are guaranteed to last 20, 30, 40, and 50 years. Most product manufacturers offer warranties on their products. Once coupled with professional application techniques, these products will live up to their claims.

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Bid - The process of a contractor listening to your needs, inspecting your roof, and providing a price for services. You should consider getting at least 2 or 3 bids for comparison purposes. Factors to consider for selecting a roofing contractor include professionalism, experience, insurances (covered liabilities), up to date business license, warranties offered, quality assurance, price, and references (start with your state or regional Better Business Bureau).

Bitumen - Many roofing products are made of this natural substance. This blackish, tar-like substance is derived naturally or by distillation from petroleum and is used as a water-proofing substance for construction materials. Substances containing bitumen are called bituminous.

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Certifications - Conscientious roofing contractors will carry and maintain certifications. Roof Works of Virginia carries the Select Shingle Roofer and Master Shingle Applicator credentials as granted by CertainTeed. A CertainTeed Select Shingle Roofer is rated in the top 1% of roofing service providers.

Choice (choosing a roof) - Two main categories of roofing systems are sloped and flat. Sloped roofs are generally comprised of asphalt shingles; although shake, slate, tile and metals are also used. Flat roofs are generally comprised of modified bitumen products, rubber products, sprayed foam, metals, thermoplastic single ply membranes (i.e., polymer sheets that are layered and sealed together chemically and/or with heat), and thermo set single ply membranes (i.e., heat welded rubber).

Choice continued - Because each roofing system has its own advantages and disadvantaged, no system can be viewed as superior to another. For this reason, Roof Works of Virginia stays "current" regarding up-to-date products and services. Roofworks will help you feel confident about the roofing system that is right for your home or business.

Counties (In Virginia) - Roofworks proudly serves the following counties: Caroline, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Fauquier, King George, Orange, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and surrounding counties (in VA).

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Experience - Ask your contractor how many years of experience his roofing company has; particularly for each type of service and material he provides. Some companies may offer a particular service or product (e.g. residential shingles) but may not have experience installing the system that your particular project requires.

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Insurances - It is always good to ask for a contractor's proof of insurance; particularly worker's compensation and liability. Professional companies will have both.

Inspection (How often?)- Roof Works of Virginia suggests a thorough roof inspection every two years. A Roofworks professional is trained to diagnose your roof to identify problems such as water traps, poor ventilation, loose pipe collars and flashing, and torn shingles. A trained and experienced roofing professional can show you existing and potential problems that the naked eye can not see.

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Image of vent pipes on a roof.Pipe Collar - One of several common areas roofers check when diagnosing a potential leak, a pipe collar is the sealing system between a vent (plumbing or exhaust) and your roof. A pipe collar is comprised of a pipe (generally PVC) and a metal base (generally aluminum) with a rubber boot. Leaky pipe collars usually stem from the boot, which sometimes slides away due to settling, or erodes due to weathering. A temporary fix includes caulking the area around the base. The permanent fix involves pulling up the roofing materials around the pipe in order to replace the boot.

Price (How much will my roof cost?) - Pricing a roof involves several variables including products, square footage, location of your home, specialties, and labor rates. Keep in mind that quality assurance, workmanship, warranty, and insurances are meant to provide protection and a strong return-on-investment (ROI) for your roofing need. Roofworks will help you realize a great ROI for your project.

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Image of ridge vent and gable vent.Ridge Vent - A ridge vent is a roofing system installed at the top of a sloped roof that allows warm, humid air to escape through the attic. For residential applications, the most common ventilation system is a ridge vent.

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Symptoms of Roofing Problems - Symptoms of roofing problems include cracked and/or warped shingles, loose seams, discolored wall board, peeled wallpaper, and warped or saturated plywood or OSB.

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Ventilation System - In order to prevent rotting, mildew, drywall damage, and warping, a balanced ventilation system is one of the most important components of a successful roof. A ventilation system is a roofing application that allows the physical attributes of wind blowing over the ridge to push warmer air out of the attic. Without a proper ventilation system 1) Summer heat will transfer back into your home and 2) Winter weather coupled with warm air from laundry, showers, dishwashing and cooking cause moisture build-up. For residential applications, the most common ventilation system is a ridge vent.

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Workers' Compensation Insurance - Insurance required by law from employers for the protection of employees while engaged in the employer's business.

Workers' Compensation Insurance Continued - Did you know that some roofing companies charge less because they don't carry workers compensation insurance? "Is this good for me?" you may ask. Answer: Unfortunately, what you don't know can hurt you. Some contractors will charge you just a fraction less than their competitors by passing on tremendous risk and liability. The problem is, if they get hurt on the job they will rely on your Home Owners' Insurance to shoulder their bills. As a result, your roofing-savings are lost to a lifetime of raised insurance premiums. Worse yet, the contractor could find reason to sue you.

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The purpose of the Roofing Knowledge Base is to give general guidance. Roof Works of Virginia Inc. accepts no responsibility or liability for any incorrect information in the knowledge base. This information should be used for guidance purposes only. Technical advice regarding specific questions or roofing needs should be sought via an on sight inspection by a trained roofing professional. Roof Works of Virginia Inc. does not collect customer information for disclosure to third parties. Copyright 2006 Roof Works of Virginia Inc. All rights reserved.