Residential Roofing FAQ’s discussed by BPS Facilities

Roofing for an existing home or new build is an expensive aspect so we have put together some Residential Roofing FAQ’s, roofing questions and answers, which will tell you everything you need to know.

What types of residential roofing materials are there?

Here are some examples of the more common types of roof coverings available.

Roof Tiles – are probably still the most used and most popular for residential roofing in the UK and are available in concrete and clay. They come in many different shapes and colours and these all offer a different look. The tile shape you choose depends on the angle of your roof. Residential roofing tiles are one of the cheaper options when replacing your roof.

Types of Roof Tiles

  • Baked Clay Tiles which are extremely solid with a long lifespan
  • Plain Tiles are flat tiles without ripples
  • Concrete Tiles are cheaper than baked tiles and there is a wider choice of styles and colours available to choose from

Slate Roof Tiles – Slate Roof Tiles also known as Roof Shingles have been used as a residential roofing material for decades. Artificial roof slates have become really popular because of their lower price compared to roof tiles. Natural slates are more expensive, however, they do last a lifetime and are not as prone to moss. All types and ages of buildings can have slate roofs.

Types of Slate Tiles

  • Natural slate is the more expensive tile but the more authentic and will last the longest of all slate tiles
  • Artificial Slate is made out of fibre cement and the cheaper slate tile, however, they don’t normally last as long as natural slate

Thatched Roofing – Residential thatched roofing is a traditional roofing method that involves using dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, rushes and sedge to create a roof. Thatched roofs are uncommon in new homes now and it is a very old roofing method so there are limited contractors available who specialise in constructing them. When a thatched roof is constructed properly by a specialist professional the main part of the roof (the material used) should last 40 to 50 years which matches other roof types, however, the roof ridges normally have to be replaced around every 8-10 years. The materials used for thatched roofs are natural insulators and the air pockets within the material insulate a building in both warm and cold weather, keeping a building cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

EPDM – EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) is an extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane widely used in low-slope or flat-roofed buildings. It has plenty of advantages including; low maintenance, it lasts a lifetime, doesn’t crack and it can be walked on throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions. It is the most expensive roofing material for a flat or low sloped roof but it is the best quality and lasts the longest. An EPDM roof can last up to 50 years or longer and new formulations of the EPDM rubber make them resistant to radiation and the damage caused by UV rays, as well as making them wind, rain and hail resistant.

Zinc Roof – Zinc residential roofing is normally applied for roofs with unconventional shapes as it is such a flexible material and is perfect for round or spherical roofs. Zinc roofs were used a lot in the past, however, they are becoming increasingly popular again as they have a unique appearance, last a very long time and can be recycled. A zinc roof can have a lifespan of anything from 80 to 100 years as it naturally develops a protective surface layer over time.

Common Roofing Questions include:

How do you know if your roof has problems or needs replacing?

Unfortunately, you usually know you have roof problems when you have a leak or if it’s damaged from severe weather. Quite often you can have a leaking roof and not even know about it so it’s always a good idea to check your roof space periodically to check for leaks or any damage inside or ask a roofing contractor to come out and do this for you. They will also be able to safely check the outside condition of your roof as well. An experienced residential roofing contractor will check for cracked, warped or missing shingles, loose seams and deteriorated flashings, excessive surface granules accumulating in the gutters or downspouts and other signs roofing problems both inside and out. A leaking roof over a long period of time can cause a huge amount of damage so checking regularly is a worthwhile exercise so any problems found can be resolved quickly to limit the damage it causes. A professional roofing contractor will always assess your roof and give you a fixed installation or repair cost.

What are my options for roofing as a replacement or for a new roof on a new build?

There are two options when it comes to you replacing your roof and a reputable and professional roofing company will advise you of the best and most economical option which includes:

A complete replacement which involves removing the whole of your existing roof system and replacing every component, including air barrier or vapour retarder (if present), roof insulation (if present), and the roof membrane, flashing, and accessories,

Re-covering the existing roof system which is often referred to as a re-roof is the process of layering new shingles on top of already existing ones and can only be done once, meaning this is not an option for homes with more than one layer of roofing. A re-roof is an excellent option if overall your roof is in good shape and does have any missing or soggy shingles or significant water damage. Only the installation of a new roof covering (tiles or slate). If you’ve already had one re-cover installed on your original roof system then your residential roofing contractor may well advise you that you need a complete replacement, however, this depends on the condition of all of the roof components.

Do I need a whole roof replacement if my roof is leaking?

Residential Roofing FAQ

Not always, leaks are often a result of loose flashings or a section of the roof system that has been damaged and can be replaced or repaired as a minor repair. A complete re-roof is normally due to excessive damage, damage from a long-standing issue, improper roof installation, inappropriate roof installation on a property or structure (the wrong roof types used for the property and its dimensions), or, just the age of a roof. Ensure you fully understand the issue with your roof and the roof repair cost before you commit to a whole new roof replacement.

Can my residential roofing be repaired if I have a leak or damage in one area?

Unless a roof is old then normally missing, cracked, broken or curling shingles or tiles can be repaired and replaced to stop a leak. Older roofs with damaged tiles, structures, or damaged insulation which has multiple leaks or more widespread issues normally need to be replaced.

How much does it cost to repair or replace residential roofing?

Costs will vary dramatically depending on the pitch of your roof, the type of tiles or roof you have, the condition of the existing roof and beams so it’s always best to ask 3 or more roofing professionals to quote for the repair or replacement so you can compare the cost, their advice and services. Always ask for recommendations from friends, family, local businesses and look at a companies reviews before you have any work done with them or even invite them to quote.

For each residential roofing material, there are different grades and corresponding prices and a variety of styles and shapes. You need to look at the full product range and make a choice based on your budget and needs.

Can you repair a residential roof yourself?

Major roof repair work or a roof replacement is a complex process that requires specialists skills and should always be left to a professional to prevent damage, further problems and possible injury.

What is the life expectancy of a new roof?

Different residential roofing types last for differing times and there are a lot of factors that go into it. There are two types of roof warranties when you have your roof replaced. One is a manufacturing warranty, which is based on the manufacturer and style of shingle or tile you purchase. This will cover the material used in your roof installation and will vary from brand to brand. Manufacturer’s material warranties typically range from 10 to 30 years. These warranties are issued by the manufacturer and only cover defects or failure of the roofing products which are due to manufacturing defects or premature ageing. Most roofs last longer than 30 years, however, they aren’t normally covered under warranty for that length of time.

The other, and most important warranty, is the roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty. This warranty is your cover against workmanship or installation errors. Typically, a roofing contractor will warranty their work for a year or maybe more. Longer warranties are not necessarily more valuable compared to shorter warranties and you should look at the warranty in-depth to understand what it covers. Questions to ask include; the length of the warranty, what is covered, what is not covered, does it cover their installation, what if their workmanship causes a leak which results in damage to your home and other leaks. All of these questions are really important and you should compare the workmanship warranties that contractors offer, as well as looking at their customer reviews, both good and bad.

What can cause a residential roofing problem or a complete roof replacement?

There are lots of reasons and causes for a roof leak, problem, damage or complete replacement and these include; severe weather, direct sun, algae and mildew growth, defect tiles, incorrect installation and many more. Darker and more vibrant roof colours (tiles and shingles) won’t stand the test of time visually, compared to lighter and less vibrant colours due to UV damage and lightening.

If I have a leak in my residential roof how do I find it?

Roof leaks can be difficult to find and identify where the water is actually coming from as it always finds the path of least resistance and will travel for a while before finally showing up through your ceiling or beams in your roof structure. You can try to go into your attic with a light when it is raining to try and find a leak, however, the easiest and quickest way to find a problem is by having a roofing professional come out to find it and give you a quote as they will have extensive experience of where leaks are most likely to come from.

Why is my roof leaking but I have only just had it repaired or replaced?

There are lots of reasons why you might have a leak, even if it is a new roof; the tiles may not have been installed correctly, they could have been placed over an existing layer of tiles that aren’t giving adequate coverage, or there could be new damage from recent weather. If this is the case then the best thing to do is ask the roofing contractor who installed your roof to come round and have a look and if you aren’t happy with their answer then ask for another contractor to come out and give you their advice.

How long does it take to replace a roof?

Every roof is completely different and it can take anything from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of your roof and the work that needs to be done.

What is residential roofing underlayer?

Roofing underlayer is also known as felt paper and is installed underneath your tiles and over the wood structure of your roof. The roof surface helps protect your roof from driving rain that can get underneath your tiles and cause damage.

How do I know if the wood structure of my roof needs replacing?

If the wood underneath your tiles shows signs of water or water damage then they could be unsafe and will sometimes need to be replaced. A reputable roofing contractor will be able to advise you of this.

When having my residential roofing replaced how do I know which type of roof to have?

This depends on the style of your home as well as the properties around impacting your decision, it should complement your home and its features. You should also take into consideration the material being used, how long it will last and the cost when making your decision.

How do I find the best residential roofing contractor to replace my roof or add a new roof for a new build property?

Ask for recommendations from family, friends or local businesses, look for companies who have excellent customer reviews and look for a professional website. Always get a detailed written quote from at least 3 contractors who are NFRC approved, ask for the details of the manufacturers and their workmanship warranty and compare them all. Be careful as some companies will tell you that you need a whole roof replacement when it isn’t needed so you always need to compare advice and use a reputable and professional roofing business. You can ask to speak to some of their previous customers to ask them; did they clear up after themselves, were they tidy, did they finish the job when they said they would, how was their communication with you, did they address any issues in a timely manner and keep to their contract.

How should I decide which contractor to choose for a replacement roof or a new roof for a new build property?

Clearly written and detailed quote proposals should be broken down into separate line items to tell you how much each component costs including:

  • Type of roof covering with material manufacturer and colour
  • Materials included in the work (underlay, felt, insulation, membrane etc)
  • Scope of work to be done
  • Removal or replacement of the existing roof
  • Flashing work (existing flashings to be replaced or re-used, adding new flashing, flashing metal type)
  • Ventilation work (adding new vents)
  • Insulation work
  • Responsibility for repairing/replacing exterior landscape or interior finishes that are damaged during the course of the work
  • Installation methods
  • Starting and completion dates
  • Their payment process and plans available
  • Length of warranties (Manufacturers and workmanship), what is covered (Manufacturer’s material warranties will range from 10 to 30 years and workmanship warranty 1 year plus so the longer the better for the manufacturer material warranty and take into account the inclusions and exclusions for the workmanship warranty)

Always check they are an NFRC approved roofing contractor and ask for confirmation of this, or check yourself on the NFRC website.

Remember questions to ask in reference to their workmanship warranty; length of the warranty, what is covered, what is not covered, does it cover the installation, what if their workmanship causes a leak which results in damage to your home and other leaks. All of these questions are really important and you should compare the workmanship warranties that contractors offer as well as looking at their customer reviews both good and bad.

What is NFRC?

The National Federation of Roofing Contractors Limited (NFRC) is the UK’s largest roofing trade association. With a history spanning over 125 years, NFRC has established itself as the voice of the roofing industry actively ensures that all members offer high standards of workmanship and sound business practice through a strict code of practice and vetting procedure, including site inspections and adhering to Government endorsed standards.

Why is it important to use an NFRC Roofing Business?

The NFRC actively ensures that all their members offer high standards of workmanship and sound business practice through a strict code of practice and vetting procedure, including site inspections and adhering to Government endorsed standards.

No matter the type of roof or the size of the project you will be able to find an NFRC approved contractor to suit your needs whether its a full installation or minimal roof repairs.

NFRC also operates the National Heritage Roofing Contractors Register for qualified heritage roofing specialists.

About BPS Facilities Roofing Services

BPS Facilities Ltd provides planned and reactive building maintenance and construction services including roofing services to a wide range of residential customers, building contractors and business sectors throughout the UK. We provide 365 days, 24/7 emergency services contracts throughout Wales, the South West of England and the M4 Corridor.

We are registered and approved by a wide number of organisations. Our service centre is based in Cardiff and when you call us, whatever the day or time we will allocate your job to one of our fully trained team members in your areas.

Any emergency work is categorised, allocated and completed with full client approval including detailed recordings of your repair or remedial work with full site information.

Our Planned Maintenance services are designed specifically around very customers detailed requirements in line with all current Health & Safety regulations. Full Risk Assessment and Method Statements are provided for every contract.

BPS Health & Safety

Health & Safety for our customers and staff is a priority for us and we are committed to ensuring our managers and team receive the latest health & safety training and are up to date with all current legislation. BPS Facilities Ltd operates and complies fully in accordance with CDM Regulations HSE 2007 with amendments as necessary. We are positively engaged with our clients’ safety procedures and work closely with you to encourage and develop safe working practices.

BPS Roof Construction

We specialise in all aspects of roofing refurbishment, new roof construction as well as flat roofing services for businesses, new build building contractors and residential properties. you can find more information about our commercial roofing services here.

From slate replacement to new roof installations, re-roofing or roof repairs, we specialise in all aspects of slated, tiled, thermoplastic, steel, flat and fibreglass covered roofs. We only use high-quality materials on our roofing projects so you can be sure that your roof will be strong, weatherproof and durable for many years.

All roofing works are carefully evaluated for correct product application, thermal performance & environmental impact. We install and maintain all types of roofing and cladding systems including curved roofing (standing seam systems), steel and composite panelling and we are flat roofing specialists (single-ply roofing).

As a local roofing professional, we ensure compliance with current industry building regulations for all our roof installations.

From a roof refurbishment or complete re-roofing service, you can be assured of the highest quality workmanship from our expert and experienced roofing services team after a full inspection to assess the level of damage and work required.

Commercial & Residential Roofing Specialists

We specialise in all type of roof for commercial and residential properties as well as being flat roof specialists:

Flat Roofing Construction and Repairs
Our roofing team are experts in new fibreglass (GRP) roofing, mastic asphalt, EPDM (Rubber) and Felt GRP roofing, roof repairs, liquid roofing & roof windows such as skylights or lanterns.

Roof Tiles Replacement
Regardless of how many roofing tiles need replacing, BPS roofing team have a stock of the most popular clay and concrete tiles used in South Wales. We also have access to a number of suppliers who can match and dispatch tiles quickly, so your roof is weatherproof without any significant delay.

Steel Roofing Installing and Repairs
Metal roofing, and specifically stainless-steel roofs, are growing in popularity on commercial and industrial buildings. They offer a wide range of benefits including a long-lasting lifespan, fantastic weather resistance, high energy efficiency whilst being low in weight (improving the structural integrity of the building) and are aesthetically pleasing and easy to maintain.

BPS can install or repair any metal roofing including zinc, copper, lead and, of course, steel roofing. Whatever your corrugated roof is made of we can help.

EPDM / Rubber Roofs
Being able to withstand freezing arctic conditions through to the blistering heat of the Arab States, EPDM membranes ensure the water-tightness of a roof longer than other waterproofing membranes, making it more cost-effective on price.

EPDM is a roofing membrane made of a synthetic rubber Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Terpolymer which is 100% cured single-ply and can be easily fitted to any size of commercial or residential flat roof, reducing the labour time during the installation process.

Thermoplastic Roofing System
Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is a type of roofing membrane that is usually chosen for its high energy efficiency and its’ durability (it does not rot nor is weakened by UV light). In some circumstances, TPO roofing can be effectively used to recover over an existing roof. Saving time, money and disposal of the original membrane.

Modified Bitumen / Asphalt Roofing Solutions
Reinforced bitumen flat roofing systems are ideal for both new build or re-roofing projects. It is a very versatile form of roofing and can be applied to a range of surfaces, including timber, concrete and metal. Mastic asphalt is thought to be the most reliable of all roof systems, offering weatherproof and waterproof integrity for many different types of commercial roofs. Mastic asphalt can also be applied to balconies, paving or basement flooring and is versatile enough to be used on sloped or curved services.

Coated Roof Systems
Coated roof systems more commonly called “liquid roof” roof coatings have many advantages over traditional roof waterproofing systems. It can be applied to metal, concrete, bitumen, asbestos and felt roofing to create a seamless roof covering. Re-covering the existing roof system saves time, labour and the cost of removing the existing roof.

BPS Facilities Ltd provides roofing services, installation and repairs to a wide range of commercial customers, new build contractors and residential properties and we are the experts in all types of roofing throughout the UK.

If you are looking for a reputable and expert roofing company for your new residential roofing to replace an existing roof or for a new build property then contact us today on 029 20 484114 and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have or arrange a site visit by one of our roofing specialists.