Charleston Roofing: Article About Selecting The Best Roofing Contractor
After the first major storm of the season, suddenly everybody with a white van and a hammer is calling himself a roofer, offering his services to repair or replace any Charleston roofing that needs it. Some will even offer to pay the deductible on the insurance, so how can a homeowner choose the right contractor? By using a few simple criteria, homeowners can distinguish the reliable professionals from the wannabes.
When property owners spend money on new roofing, they naturally want the most reliable, experienced craftsmen to perform the job of installing it. The manufacturers of roofing materials feel the exact same way. Offering warranties of up to 25 years, no shingle-maker wants to see homeowners coming back 10 years later complaining that his product wasn't up to scratch if the failure was due to faulty installation on the part of the roofing contractor.
The most common reason for a roof to fail before the warranty on the materials runs out is because there was no gap between the panels of plywood decking. International building codes dictate that there should be a one-eighth inch gap between the sheets of plywood on a roof. This is because wood expands in the warm, moist conditions of a southern summer.
If the carpenter who puts down the plywood forgets to leave enough room for expansion, the panels will buckle.
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Buckling plywood causes the nails to inch out gradually. After eight or 10 cycles of this, the nails eventually pop out completely, leading to a major roofing failure.
That is why manufacturers like GAF and CertainTeed, two of America's largest manufacturers of roofing materials, take the trouble of vetting and certifying the contractors they consider qualified to do their products justice. The GAF Master Elite certificate is an example of the type of factory certification that homeowners should be looking for before they hire someone to repair or install a roof.
A GAF Master Elite certificate is a solid indication that a contractor has been confirmed to be properly insured, that he holds a South Carolina state roofing license, and that he is committed to ongoing education and training as new techniques and materials evolve. GAF sees to it that only the top 2 percent of roofing contractors in the entire country are factory-certified. Selecting a GAF Master Elite contractor does not obligate the homeowner to purchase GAF roofing materials. Other indicators to look out for are an A or A rating from the Better Business Bureau and a good standing with Angie's List.