The Big 4: The Most Common Roofing Questions

When you’ve been in business for over 15 years like Chicago Flat Roof Company, you’ll more than likely have come across just about everything that could possibly have happened to a roof – and then some. Experience is a great teacher, and if it’s taught us one thing it’s that most customers who call us have one of four questions they need to get answered; usually as fast as they possibly can.

These four questions are so common that we train each of our new team members on the CFRC way to answer each one. See, with all of our years doing business, we’ve developed some “best practices” for dealing with what we call the “Big 4”. These questions represent property owners’ biggest concerns regarding their largest investment, so you can be sure we take them very seriously.

Now, that we’ve covered the reasons for this article, and given the basis for why you should listen to what we have to say – we are the experts after all – it’s time to start our examination of the “Big 4”. Where possible, we’ve tried to give some tips to help out with each specific question.

#1: “Can I just replace the shingles?”

While Chicago Flat Roof Company sticks to flat and low-slope roofing, we know all about shingles – the good and the bad. One of the most common questions we’re asked is, “Can I just replace the shingles?” and we always answer in exactly the same way – with a thorough roof inspection. Depending on what our technician discovers, the answer to the question can vary widely, and you can trust us to give you the facts about all your options.

If all is sound structurally, and we do a very deep inspection to uncover any issues with the underlayment or decking, we’ll offer a simple shingle replacement making the answer to the question yes. However, if there’s any structural issue uncovered, or if there’s damage beyond what a simple replacement will cure, our recommendation will entail something more significant. We’ll offer all the possible options we’ve identified including repairs, replacement, or construction. As long as the fix doesn’t compromise the safety and security of the structure’s occupants, we’ll deliver exactly what you ask for – never more, never less.

Pro Tip: Replace your missing shingles as soon as you discover they’re gone. The purpose of a shingle, aside from beautifying a building, is protecting the underlayment and decking from moisture. So, letting even a little shingle damage remain for any length of time is just inviting trouble. Call Chicago Flat Roof Company instead.

#2: “What about a patch?”

As Chicagoland’s premier flat roof company, we’re asked all the time about patching a flat or low-slope roof. Again, like with most construction-based questions, this is completely dependent upon what’s uncovered during our free inspection process. Our technicians are extensively trained to identify any and all areas where damage has occurred and locate the reasons causing the issue in the first place. Any patch or repair we do will need to address the underlying problems, or we’re just putting off the financial hit for the customer for another day – and it’ll be much worse.

The best patch applications are instances where a specific section of roof has problems and our technicians identify a patch as the most cost-effective solution available for our client. With shingled roofing, shingle replacement is just as good an option, but for flat and low-slope, the process can be a bit more complicated due to building codes. If a patch works for our customer, we’ll offer it alongside whatever other choices we’ve identified as bringing their roofing nightmare to a successful conclusion.

Pro Tip: It’s important to discuss the proposed patch with your contractor – Chicago Flat Roof Company. We’ll do our best to match the existing roofing from an aesthetic perspective, but you need to know the patch – even with our exceptional service – will not be perfect. Blending we can do – miracles not so much.

#3: “Can we roof over my existing roof?”

This question is asked during the roofing process by nearly every property owner due to the worry over new roof construction costs. It’s totally understandable from an owner’s perspective, but we do our best to explain that, for a great many, reroofing is nothing more than adding trouble to an already troublesome situation. Think of reroofing like a Band-Aid that you slap onto your roofing. Have you ever worn a Band-Aid for any length of time?

A reroofing job works perfectly fine for flat roofing when there’s not more than two layers already in place. That’s Illinois code and we can’t get around that even if we wanted to – which we don’t. If reroofing will work for a customer, of course we’ll recommend it, but we always do so with a caveat – it won’t last. Band-Aids, if worn for too long, harbor infection and bacteria. They do more harm than good. Well, reroofing does the same thing, but it does it to your home. In the end, it’s not a solution we advise to our pitched-roof customers.

Pro Tip: Be sure to discuss your reroofing application thoroughly with your contractor before you do any work. There’s a very good chance that your reroofing job will completely void any manufacturer’s warranty your roof had in place.

#4: “Do I need to replace my roof?”

This is the biggest question of them all and every property owner fears having to ask it. Yet, it doesn’t have to be so intimidating. Yes, new roofing can be expensive. Yes, installation and construction can be intrusive operations. But, even with the imagined, and the very real, concerns, there’s a real range of benefits that can’t be overlooked. Again, as with all roofing questions, at the end of the day the answer is completely dependent on what our inspectors uncover when they visit your structure.

The advances in materials and techniques means that any new roofing you put in today will end up paying for itself over the course of its lifetime. How? Well, the energy efficiency of roofing products has grown astronomically in the last 20 years, so your new roof will vastly reduce your overall energy usage – lowering your bills. There’s also the benefit to the overall value of your home to consider. Property is valued far higher with a new roof within warranty, so you’re investing in yourself and your family’s financial future.

Pro Tip: Ask the experts at Chicago Flat Roof Company about our flexible payment plans and helpful financing options. We’ll even help with your insurance paperwork!

No matter what questions you may have about roofing, you can always trust the professionals at Chicago Flat Roof Company to be there with an answer. It’s what we do and have been doing for the last 15+ years, so call (312) 667-4440 today to speak with one of our knowledgeable experts and ask your own “Big 4”. We guarantee we can provide the answers you’re looking for.

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