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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
How do I Know if My Roof Needs to be Fixed or Replaced?
There are many different things that can tell you if your roof needs to be fixed or replaced. The easier ones to spot are if there are loose or missing shingles. Shingles could also be curling, or cracking as they get older. Check your gutters for granules that fall off of your shingles and for dark or dirty areas around the roof. Check your attic for water damage because that will tell you there is a leak in your roof. If you notice your heating and cooling bill has gone up a lot recently, that is a good sign there is a roof ventilation problem. You should also check to see if any part of your roof sagging which needs to be fixed as soon as possible to prevent collapse. Most asphalt shingle roofs are built to last 20 to 25 years. If you haven’t had it replaced in decades, then it’s time to get that done.
Will My Home Insurance go up if I get a New Roof?
It’s important to check with your insurance carrier to answer this question. For the most part, a new roof is considered less of a risk for an insurance claim and can actually lower your insurance premium.
When is the Best Time of Year to Replace Roof Shingles?
Any time from late spring to early autumn. Asphalt shingles are best installed on dry, sunny days that are between 4 degrees and 26 degrees Celsius. Any colder and the shingles will start to become hard and brittle and harder to work with, and if it is hotter then the shingles are more likely to become warped during installation. It’s best to do it on sunny days to avoid the underlying roof decking from getting wet and becoming damaged.
How Long Does it Take for Roof Work to be Done?
It depends. When we work on your home, we will do an assessment on your roof for damage and determine if we need to seal any leaks, replace any (or all) metal or asphalt shingles, or cedar shakes, roof decking, heat tracing cables and insulation. We’ll then provide you an estimate of how long the work will take and how much it will cost. Our team will always get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible and make sure it meets our high quality standards backed by our warranty.
How does rooftop ventilation prevent ice dams?
Ice dams are build ups of ice on the eaves and sloped roofs of a building. Ice dams can cause serious damage to your home such as leads and damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. Ice dams are caused when snow melts on a hot roof, and then freezes as ice. Rooftop ventilation protects against ice dams by preventing your attic from overheating. This means the snow will not melt on your roof and cause ice dams.
Is Kovar Roofing fully licensed and insured?
Yes we are. Kovar Roofing is a fully licensed and insured roofing company. We have liability insurance for up to $5,000,000 so you can know that you’re getting reliable, top-quality service.
How does proper ventilation help reduce my home cooling costs?
Unventilated attics get very hot – much hotter than elsewhere in your home. As a result, your cooling system has to work much harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature for you and your family. Proper attic ventilation allows for the hot air to escape and cooler air to enter your attic space, meaning your air conditioning unit does not have to work as hard.
What causes mold in attics? How can proper ventilation prevent it?
Mold thrives in warm, moist environments where they have sufficient food sources i.e the wood in your attic. Unventilated attics provide the perfect such environment for mold to grow and become a real problem. Mold can get out of control when it is left to grow unsupervised, and many people go years without going into their attics. Proper ventilation helps prevent the buildup of warm, moist, air in your attic by cycling cool air from outside. This is a very important step in reducing the probability of a mold problem in your attic.
My ceiling is flat. Can I still get a skylight?
Yes – we can install a sun tunnel to reflect light into your room without having to change the design of your ceiling.
What if my skylight leaks when it rains?
When we install your skylight we do so in such a way that leaks during heavy rainfall will not occur. If you do not maintain them (e.g. prevent ice damming), you are at risk of possible leaks in the winter, when the wood frame contracts due to the cold. It is important to regularly check your skylight and keep it in good shape.
Don’t skylights leak and have to be replaced frequently?
Previously dome skylights were made of 2 layers of acrylic in the shape of a dome and could not be sealed tight enough to create a vacuum in the same way as the 2 layers of flat glass that are used today. Velux actually sells The No Leak Skylight, which carries a 10-year installation warranty, plus 20 years on glass and 10 years on product – not to mention the 5 years on blinds and controls.
Keep in mind that we are talking about installing a window on a water shedding system (the roof) and in extreme cases of cold weather, damming can occur and still cause problems around the skylight no matter how well installed. Roof Maintenance will be necessary.
What does it cost to install a skylight?
There are many factors that influence the price of your skylight or suntunnel. Depends on many factor including:
- The size of the skylight and whether it is in stock or is a custom order
- Whether it is non venting, manually venting, or solar venting
- Will you have blinds? Will they be manual or solar and will you want a home automation kit so you can control the blinds from your phone for example?
- Will you choose dual or triple pane glass and will it be laminated?
- If you go with a sun tunnel, what size will it be? Will it be rigid or flexible? Will you require any extensions?
- The pitch and condition of your roof
- Will we go with an in stock or custom flashing kit?
Will the sun tunnel ruin my home’s insulation?
Not at all. When we install sun tunnels, we ensure that the insulation is sealed in properly. This involves a second clear panel sealed with a rubber gasket to prevent heat escaping the room.
Rooftop Snow Removal
If the Snow Buildup is Only at the Bottom Edge of my Roof, do I Still Need to Remove it?
Yes you should because if there is a thaw and there is nowhere for the water to flow, the end result is leaks and water back-ups into your home. There is also the risk of large chunks of ice that can fall off the roof onto a car or person. Preventing the snow from building up prevents ice dams.
Should I Hire You for Snow Removal, Heat Trace Cables or Updating the Insulation in my Attic?
Like all home upgrade questions, there is no one right answer for every house. If it has been 10 more more years since your insulation was last touched, then consider upgrading your insulation as a first step as it will not only help prevent potentially dangerous icicle formation, but will save money on heating costs. If you are planning to replace your roof in the coming year or two, perhaps you’d prefer to hold off on heat trace cables and have us remove snow for now. Some housing styles will likely always suffer from ice damming and might also benefit from heat trace cables. Even with these cables, it is a good idea to remove snow from the edges of the roof on a regular basis – it makes the job of the heat cable easier!
Can't I Just Remove the Snow From My Roof Myself?
It may seem tempting to try this as a nice winter DIY project, but do not try and remove snow yourself. Going up on your roof is dangerous, especially when you add slippery snow and ice. You can very easily fall and seriously injure yourself on top of damaging your roof. Alternatively, extendable snow brushes can only reach so far and don’t work well when trying to remove snow from the middle (and often highest) points of your roof from the ground. It’s best to leave this type of job to a professional who has the proper tools and experience to do this work safely.
Can I Use Rock Salt to Remove Ice From My Roof?
No. Using rock salt on your roof is a very easy way to damage your roof and drainage system. Rock salt is highly corrosive and will damage your shingles, the wood underneath, siding, gutters and downspouts. The poisonous runoff will also kill any plants it comes in contact with and ruin the soil making it nearly impossible for plants to regrow in those spots. We use non-toxic products to remove ice from rooftops.
When Should I Consider Removing Snow From My Roof?
It depends on what you are concerned about. If you want to prevent ice dams, then you should look to clear your roof after every 6” or 15cm of snow. If you are mainly concerned about your roof collapsing then you should have it done after every 12” or 30cm of snow. If you have an older roof haven’t had maintenance work done in recent years, you should consider removing snow sooner to be safe.