Owning a home comes with many responsibilities. As a homeowner in Oklahoma, your home and especially your roof has to provide protection for you and your family in harsh weather events like hail, wind, rain, ice, tornadoes, fire, and the summer heat. We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions heard from homeowners during our history of servicing Oklahoma. If there are any questions we haven't touched on, please feel free to let us know.
Table of Contents
- How much does it cost to replace your roof?
- How do I choose a roofing contractor?
- What are the ten most common errors made by roofers?
- What's the difference between a roof estimate and a proposal?
- What kind of roof should I get?
- What does a workmanship warranty cover?
- What is a realistic workmanship warranty period?
- What does a shingle manufacturer warranty cover?
- What does an enhanced shingle manufacturer warranty cover?
- How long will my roof last?
- Does ventilation affect my roof?
- Does insulation affect my roof?
- How can I prevent a roof leak?
- Should I worry about the mold or algae on my roof?
- I had my roof replaced five years ago, and now it's leaking. I have a warranty. Is my contractor obligated to fix my leak at no cost?
- Is my roof leaking?
- Is my roof tax deductible?
- How can I maintain my roof?
- Should I replace or repair my roof?
- Can I replace the roof myself?
- What is a roof system?
- Is it OK to combine roofing materials from different manufacturers?
- Why are my shingles loose?
- Why is my roof sagging?
- How do I make sure my roof is prepared for the Oklahoma storm season?
- Does my homeowner's insurance cover my roof leak?
- I have a roof leak. How can I stop it from leaking?
- Will my homeowner's insurance pay to replace my roof because of hail damage?
- We just had a hail storm. Is my roof OK?
- Many of my neighbors have had their roofs replaced recently. Should I be concerned about mine?
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The cost of replacing a roof will depend on many factors such as:
- The experience and quality of the roofing contractor you choose
- The roofing material installed
- Size of your roof
- Manufacturer and workmanship warranty coverage
- Any add-on features such as flashing, ice and water barriers, and attic ventilation systems
In Oklahoma, the average cost to properly replace a roof is $14,500.
When considering replacing your roof, try and get bids from at least two or three contractors. Be sure that the proposal is detailed and includes all the materials that will be used for your project so that you can compare apples to apples.
If you receive a bid that is $2,000 to $3,000 lower than the others, it should raise a red flag as to the quality of the material being used and the workmanship. Keep in mind that a roofer that is less than reputable or just starting out may cut costs in the quality of materials, liability insurance, proper installation procedures, and warranties to bid at a lower rate.
Research is incredibly important when choosing a quality roofing contractor. While we understand and expect you to ask your friends or neighbors for recommendations, you should also follow up with some research on your own.
Here are our top five criteria that are critical in selecting a reliable, and reputable roofing contractor:
1. Commercial General Liability Insurance Minimum 1 Million Dollar Policy
What if the roofing crew damages your car, your HVAC equipment, the outside or inside of your home? Or worse, what if they burn down your house? This may seem drastic, but it's all possible. Make sure the contractor is adequately insured. Ask the contractor for a certificate of insurance.
2. Business Location
"Storm Chasers" typically will set up a small temporary office to give the impression that they are a local contractor. They will even have magnetic signs and yard signs stating they are local.
A qualified local contractor will have a permanent office sufficient to run a professional business.
Before you buy, you may want to visit the contractor's office to verify that this contractor is going to be around to take care of your needs and back up their work. This is one of the best methods to determine the legitimacy of a contractor.
3. Manufacturer Certifications
Any legitimate contractor will be certified by many manufacturers. The following are links to the websites of top national roofing shingle manufacturers. Check out their websites and search by zip code for contractors they recommend in your area. The listed contractors must go through a rigorous verification and training process to be certified by the manufacturers.
4. Prepayment of Work
It is very common for the "fly by night" contractor to ask for a 1/3 or 50% payment when the material is delivered, or sometimes at the time the contract is signed. We have all seen time and time again on television stories about the lousy contractor who took the money and ran, in many cases not even paying for the material with the distributor. On a residential roof project, no payment should be made until the roof is completed.
5. Better Business Bureau
This is another resource to legitimize a contractor and confirm how long they have been working in the Oklahoma City or Tulsa area.
For a more comprehensive list to help you make the best choice for your home, please read our “Choosing a Contractor” guide.
- High nailing
- Incorrect flashing detail around chimneys, pipes, walls, and skylights
- Installing inadequate attic ventilation
- No project manager – this leads to a crew with no supervision and no accountability
- Installing shingles on a low pitch or flat roof area
- No cricket on wide chimneys – crickets help to avoid ponding and rusting on chimney flashings
- Wrong length of nails – nails should penetrate through the roof deck
- Incorrect starter – The starter course is an anchor for the first row of shingles
- Asphalt adhesive used as general caulking – this type of glue will crack and fail if exposed to the elements
- No general liability or workers comp. insurance
An estimate is a ballpark guide for budgeting. The only way to buy a roof is to require a detailed proposal that becomes a binding contract when signed by both parties.
A roof proposal should be detailed and include information such as:
- Type of roof system with manufacturer name and color
- List of accessory materials with product names
- The comprehensive scope of work that clearly describes the steps taken on your particular project and where those lists products will be used
- Payment procedures
- Warranty details
Ideally, whatever type of roof you choose should be designed to withstand the high winds, hot summer sun, hail, and other weather factors that are common in Oklahoma. Your new roof needs to be tough, but also have some curb appeal.
There are many different types of roofing material in the market. Here are some we recommend that can hold up to the harsh Oklahoma climate.
Laminate/Composition Asphalt Shingles
The most common type of roofing material in Oklahoma. Laminate asphalt shingles are sturdy, durable, and can handle all types of weather conditions. These shingles are typically made from a layer of fiberglass sandwiched between asphalt and ceramic granules.
This type of shingle is lightweight which will not cause unnecessary strain on your roof deck, and it comes in many different color options and at an economical price.
Impact Resistant Shingles
Perfect for the hail-prone areas of Oklahoma. Impact resistant shingles are typically made in one of two ways: mesh added to the back of an asphalt shingle to reduce tearing, or a modification of an asphalt shingle with synthetic polymers that increase the strength of the shingle.
For a shingle to receive the classification of Class 4 impact resistant, it must meet the Underwriters Laboratory Test Standard 2218 (UL 2218). Meaning, it must be able to withstand a steel ball being dropped in the same place on the surface twice from a distance of 20 ft. and show no evidence of cracks or breakage on the back side of the shingle.
Impact resistant shingles can be designed to have the appearance of many popular shingle styles such as slate, shake, or architectural and they come in a wide variety of colors. In comparison the cost of laminated asphalt shingles, impact resistant shingles are priced higher, but some insurance companies offer a discount if you install an impact-resistant roof.
Stone Coated Steel Shingles
Stone coated steel is a durable roof that is comprised of a metal base and is then coated with stone chips that are attached to the steel panels with an acrylic film. This type of roof can have the appearance of asphalt, wood or tile roof but with the strength of steel.
While priced at a higher rate than asphalt and impact resistant shingles, a stone coated steel shingle offers a longer lifespan and does not require the maintenance of a traditional roof. This type of roof has no issues against the Oklahoma storm season and may also provide you with a discounted insurance rate. Talk to your insurance agent for more details.
Synthetic shingles are manufactured to have the appearance of slate, clay or cedar shake tiles but are comprised of plastic and rubber to last longer. Most synthetic tiles are Class 4 impact resistant and Class A fire resistant.
Synthetic shingles are lightweight and resist fading from UV rays. They serve as a great alternative to their natural counterparts and last much longer.
Metal roofs are commonly made with zinc, copper, steel alloys or aluminum and can last up to 70 years. Durable and strong, a metal roof can withstand wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour and are fire-resistant.
Despite the attractiveness, longevity, and strength of a metal roof, should you need to repair or add-on to your existing roof, a color match will be hard to replicate if fading has occurred. Another potential downfall is the noisiness of rain or hail hitting a metal roof. However, the problem can be reduced with additional insulation.
A workmanship warranty covers the work that is completed by the roofer, whether it be a repair or a roof replacement. A workmanship warranty is often a sign of a quality roofing contractor. It shows that they stand behind their work and have the intention that you will never have to use the warranty.
What’s covered in a workmanship warranty can vary company to company and even on a project basis. A workmanship warranty will not cover faulty roofing material but will guarantee that the work was completed to industry recommended standards.
Other factors that may not be covered by a workmanship warranty:
- Damage to the roof caused by weather-related incidents
- Normal wear and tear due to the age of the roof
- Lack of maintenance performed by the homeowner, including leaks caused by clogged gutters
- Any damage caused by materials not installed by your roofing contractor
- Damage caused by animals
- Any damage to the inside of your home due to a roof leak
Most workmanship warranties are only valid as long as the company offering the warranty is the only one to work on your roof. The warranty will also become invalid if the roofing company is no longer in business, so it is imperative to do your research when hiring a contractor.
In most cases, a workmanship warranty will last one to five years.
A manufacturer warranty will cover the shingles used in your roof system but not the labor or the work performed by the contractor. It is important to know that most manufacturer warranties will become invalid if your roof issues are due to neglect or if it is not installed to manufacturers specifications. To prevent your warranty from becoming invalid, schedule regular roof inspections with your contractor and ensure that you have proof of these inspections should an issue come up in the future.
Most manufacturer warranties cover the manufacturer defects and premature aging of the roofing membrane. This typically does not include any accessories such as flashing, adhesives, and edges.
Most manufacturer warranties cover your roofing member anywhere from 20 to 50 years. Some warranties even offer lifetime coverage. Be sure to read conditions of your warranty to understand what is and isn’t covered. A lifetime warranty may sound great, but not when it requires you to jump through so many hoops to prove a manufacturer defect.
This type of warranty is usually only offered during full system installation. Meaning your roof, from the shingles to the accessories, to any added features must all be products of a single manufacturer and installed by a top-tier manufacturer certified contractor.
A top-tier of roofing contractor must go through rigorous testing, training, and certification by the manufacturer. This type of warranty has a more extended coverage period and includes the labor of the certified contractor, and the accessories used.
An enhanced warranty will cover labor and material costs of roof leak repairs as outlined in terms of the coverage. Some enhanced warranties may even cover wind or hail damage up to a certain level as well as aesthetic defects.
The answer to this question depends on many factors such as the type of roof and its maintenance. To get the most out of your roof’s lifespan, some preventative maintenance must be performed such as an annual inspection, gutter cleaning to enable proper water flow, correct insulation, and ventilation for adequate airflow and temperature regulation, and proper initial installation of your roof.
In general, the less you pay for a roof, the more maintenance it will require and the shorter lifespan. A poorly installed roof, especially in Oklahoma, could only last you five years. If you invest in a quality roof system installed by a manufacturer-certified roofer, your roof may cost more, but the average lifespan is between 20 and 50 years. In ideal weather conditions, this estimate is accurate. Keep in mind that sometimes, the Oklahoma weather can outsmart even the most reliable installation methods or material.
It is essential to have your home inspected by a professional roofing contractor at least once a year to ensure that your roof is living up to its expected lifespan.
Absolutely. Ventilation allows your roof and attic space to “breathe.” Without an adequate escape route for moisture, it will build up and destroy the structural integrity of your home and cause mold to grow. Ventilation also prevents ice dams from forming in the winter. Ice dams can cause water to back up your roof and under your shingles, leading to roof leaks.
Ventilation is so essential to the integrity of your roof that some manufacturer warranties will be voided if your roof lacks an adequate amount of ventilation. Current building codes from the U.S. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recommend at least one square foot of attic ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic space.
Yes. Insulation, along with ventilation, also plays a factor in the prevention of ice dams. Insulation helps to regulate the temperature of the air inside the attic while ventilation offers a system of intake and exhaust to allow the roof to maintain a consistent temperature and preventing the freezing and refreezing cycle.
There are two crucial factors in preventing a leaky roof.
- Preventive maintenance
Much like a car, your roof requires preventative maintenance to ensure that all the parts are working as it should. You should perform a maintenance check on your roof at regular intervals. It’s important to ensure that there are no issues with your shingles, your gutters and vents remain clear, and your flashing is in good shape. It’s in your best interest to contact a roofing professional to perform the inspection. They are trained to be able to identify the signs of future roof issues and know the appropriate steps to manage the situation before it becomes costly.
- Knowledgeable installers
Your roof is only as good as the installation. Even if the type of roof you choose is top of the line, it won’t hold up to the work of a faulty contractor. A manufacturer-certified roofing contractor has been trained in the product and knows how to uphold the warranty specifications required for proper installation. Be sure to read our “Choosing A Contractor” guide for tips on how to look for a trustworthy contractor.
If you do find yourself in an active roof leak situation, read our article “What to do with your roof leak until help arrives” for tips on how to prevent massive interior damage.
Unsightly mold or algae on your roof is hazardous to your roof and your home’s resale value.
Mold and Algae can grow in moist, shaded areas. Algae growth can spread under shingles and cause them to lift and allow for water infiltration. The enzymes in algae can also eat at the granule adhesive on the shingles. Mold spores can carry into the interior of your attic causing growth inside your home.
To prevent this growth long-term, consider trimming back the trees that are hanging over your roof or installing algae-resistant shingles.
To remove the stains on your roof, it is not recommended to use a power washer. The pressure of your water will dislodge the granules and leave your shingles unprotected from UV rays. UV rays cause the shingles to crack, curl and become brittle.
A simple cleaning solution can help to remove the stains is half water and half bleach. Apply the mixture to your roof with a garden sprayer and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Then rinse with a low-pressure water hose. Protect your landscape from any falling bleach solution because it will kill your plants.
Please note that the roof will be slippery and it’s best to consult with a professional before attempting to clean the roof on your own. Also, be sure to check the shingle manufacturer’s website on recommended cleaning practices and consult your warranty to ensure that you do not void it with non-recommended cleaning practices.
15. I had my roof replaced five years ago, and now it’s leaking. I have a warranty. Is my contractor obligated to fix my leak at no cost?
You should first consult your workmanship warranty to find out the terms of your coverage. If the leaking occurs past the coverage period, you will be subjected to standard repair costs by your installer. However, your installer should inspect the materials to ensure the issue isn’t a manufacturers defect of your roof.
If you are still within the coverage period of your manufacturer warranty, and a defect has been confirmed, the manufacturer will cover the cost of the materials of your roof, but may not cover the cost of labor. Check with your warranty to familiarize yourself with the terms.
Outside of the apparent steady stream of water in your living room, there are other ways to tell if you have a leaky roof on your hands.
Granule loss – Granule loss can be attributed to the age of the roof, improper ventilation, or overhanging trees. Granules protect the shingles from UV rays, and when your shingles start to become bare, they can no longer offer water-shedding protection for your home.
Deteriorated flashing – When the flashing around your chimney, pipe vents, and other areas is damaged or rusted, it becomes a fast track for water entry.
Clogged gutters – If your gutters are clogged with debris, it prevents the flow of water off of your roof. Shingles are water shedding but not water-proof. When water gets pushed up your roof, it will enter underneath your shingles and into your home.
Frosty roof nails – Often a sign of poor insulation and ventilation, the moist air from the inside of your home is creating condensation on the cold roofing nails. Without a way for the moisture to escape, it can create a cycle of refreezing and melting and eventually lead to water damage and mold growth.
Heavy hailstorm – Hail often does not create an immediate leak but creates damage to set in motion for a future leak. A hail damaged roof will have loss of granules and penetration to the underlayment that allows for water to pond and eventually works its way to the inside of your home.
You may be eligible for a tax credit if your roof installed is one of the specialty manufactured roofs listed on the Energy Star website. Keep in mind that tax credits may expire, so please take a look at the Energy Star website to ensure eligibility.
According to Consumer Reports, your new roof must reflect more of the sun’s rays and can lower your roof surface temperatures by up to 100F.
Tax credits are 10% of the cost, up to $500. Credits do not include installation.
As discussed previously, roof maintenance is crucial in extending the life of your roof and maintaining your warranty.
At the least, your roof should undergo an inspection once a year. However, because of Oklahoma’s extreme weather events, we suggest a maintenance check in the Spring and the Fall.
You should always contact a professional roofer to perform an inspection from the roof, but there are things you can look for from the ground without having to access the roof yourself.
- Missing, curling or broken shingles
- Clogged gutters and vents
- Flashing that is rusted or cracked
- Loose granules
- Wood rot around eaves and
- Algae or roof stains
- Moist attic insulation
If you see any signs of the list above, don’t put off contacting your roofer. While you may not have a leak yet, these are sure signs that one is working its way inside your house.
There are many factors in deciding whether your roof can be saved or if you need a new one. If you are missing a few shingles, then a repair may be all you need. Before you attempt to make any repairs yourself, always check your warranty. You may void your warranty if any repairs are done by anyone other than the manufacturer-certified contractor that installed your roof.
Always have a professional roofer contractor inspect your roof before doing any repairs. A missing shingle could be a sign of a more complicated issue, like damaged roof decking. A reputable roofer will provide you with an honest assessment of the seriousness of any roof issues and whether it can be repaired or will require a full replacement.
Keep in mind that some roofing companies, without a trained and dedicated repair and maintenance staff will opt for a complete replacement, even if unnecessary. Roof repair requires a unique skill set to identify, test, and create long-term repair solutions. Without the proper training, some roofers will not attempt to repair a problematic leak and instead replace the entire roof.
Some situations that call for a full replacement such as:
- Roof age
- Severe hail damage
- A leak that went unnoticed for too long and rotted a majority of the roof deck
- Ongoing leaks
- Missing parts and pieces, especially on wood roofs
- An excessive amount of loose granules
- Curled shingles
When considering a repair or a full roof replacement, it’s important to weigh out your long-term options. Sometimes replacing your roof can prove to be more economical than the accumulating costs of constant repairs.
You can, but we wouldn’t recommend it. The benefits of having your roof installed by professionals provide you with the peace of mind knowing that experts in roofing are doing the job.
Installing a roof is more than just watching a YouTube video and nailing shingles. According to GAF, a leading shingle manufacturer,
“A properly installed roof is a complex system of components working together to keep water (and the damage it can do) outside of your home. Think about your car: a mechanic doesn’t drop off a system of parts for your car in your driveway and expects you to assemble the vehicle. Competent roofing contractors spend years learning their trade. They train long hours to learn how to properly handle and install roofing system materials, identify risks, keep themselves safe, and follow mandatory building regulations – all while keeping water out.”
Not only do you have to be knowledgeable of the proper installation techniques and safety, but you also have to be aware of the physical labor involved in re-roofing your home. Carrying heavy materials up and down a ladder is time-consuming and labor-intensive.
Here a few other factors to keep in mind when considering to replace a roof on your own:
- Roof ventilation requirements
- Material estimation
- What type of warranties are available to you
- Building codes and permits
- Equipment safety
- Proper disposal of roof tear-off
- Weather conditions
- All parts of a roof system
If the cost is your primary motivator for replacing the roof yourself, talk to a professional roofer to see what work you could do yourself in preparation for the re-roof. Also, most reputable roofing companies offer financing or home improvement loans to help relieve some financial stress.
A residential roof system is mainly comprised of many parts including roof deck, underlayment, flashings, attic ventilation, and the roof covering. A correctly installed roof system uses material from a single manufacturer. This ensures that all components are designed to be fitted together to provide the optimal amount of water protection.
Installing a complete roof system on your home from a single manufacturer will often include enhanced warranty coverage.
While you may receive a better deal by combining materials, it could hurt you in the long run. A complete roof system will simplify accountability to only one manufacturer in the case of a material defect.
One of the most common defects with asphalt shingles is improper nailing. There is a fairly narrow strip on every shingle where it’s acceptable to place the nail, call the “common bond.” Nails must penetrate this overlapping, laminated section on an architectural shingle.
When done correctly, each shingle will receive two rows of nails:
- It's own row in the center
- Nails from the next overlapping course will also penetrate higher on the same shingle
High-nailed shingles can end up only having one row of shingles that only penetrates one of the laminated layers. This can result in shingles literally delaminating into two pieces, and tearing out quickly due to high winds. This can happen whether the shingle was nailed by hand or with a nail gun. It all comes down to proper project management and factory training from the manufacturer.
A sagging roof can be a symptom of a few severe issues such as:
- Water damage
- Excess weight sometimes caused by snow, ice, ponding water or heavy shingles
- Foundation issues
- Poor quality roofing materials
As soon as you notice a roof sag, contact a roofing professional. They can assess the cause of the problem and determine the structural integrity and your next steps.
When you know a storm is coming, do a quick ground inspection of your roof to make sure there are no loose, lifted or broken shingles. Then make sure your gutters are not clogged. Rainwater could back up and cause roof leaks because of a clogged gutter.
Also, check for overhead foliage that could break and cause damage to your roof. Contact a roofing professional for an inspection before or after a storm.
Your home insurance coverage will often be based on a variety of factors such as the age of your home, the age of your roof, and where you live. For specifics regarding your policy, contact your insurance rep.
For general purposes, your homeowner insurance will generally cover “acts of God,” such as tornadoes, hail and wind damage, hurricanes, and fire.
Most insurance companies will not cover roof leaks due to the age of the roof or issues that could have been prevented by maintenance, such as a roof leak that is the result of a clogged gutter.
If you are experiencing a leak that comes through the drywall in the ceiling, remember to get a bucket and then poke a small hole to allow the water to drain through freely. This will prevent water build, sagging, wet drywall, and expensive interior repairs.
Read our article, “What to do with your roof leak until help arrives,” for more tips on how to temporarily stop a roof leak.
It depends. If you have an RCV policy (Replacement Cash Value), your insurance will typically pay you the current replacement value, minus your deductible. However, if you have an ACV policy (Actual Cash Value), you will only receive a pro-rated dollar amount minus your deductible which will not be enough to pay for a full replacement. Find out what type of policy you have before you need it.
Hail damage rarely leads to immediate roof leaks. Although the size of the hail can lead to future leaks, it’s often hard to tell if you have hail damage and the signs can be difficult to pinpoint from the ground if you don't know what to look for.
Some ways you can tell if you have hail damage is to assess your property on the ground level. Were your plants and shrubbery affected? Does your cooling system show signs of hail damage? Are the cars in your neighborhood damaged?
If your neighbors have had their roofs replaced because of storm damage, there’s a good chance your roof could be damaged as well. Since hail doesn’t fall on every street at the same rate, it’s possible that your neighbor’s roof could have suffered hail damage while yours did not. Have your roof inspected, to be sure.
For more roof leak prevention tips, download our guide, "Five Tips to Prevent Roof Leaks"
Need to talk to a professional, manufacturer-certified roofer about your roof? Contact us today and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.