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Signs That Your Roof Needs Repair/Replacement: An Interview with Matthew Manus of The M1 Roofing Group

By Matthew Manus

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

The M1 Roofing Group is a family owned and operated roofing contractor serving Charlotte, NC and surrounding locations. President Dale Manus is a licensed general contractor with over 20 years of professional residential building experience ranging from major remodels to custom home construction from the ground up. Vice President Matthew Manus is a licensed professional engineer (PE) and general contractor with 10 years of experience in residential construction. As a licensed and insured company, our mission is to provide a professional experience to each and every client by focusing on the three pillars of honesty, quality, and dependability.

What are some of the services your company provides?

The M1 Roofing Group specializes in roof replacements, new roof construction, and roofing inspections for wind and hail damage. The M1 Roofing Group also provides services for replacements which typically accompany roof replacements, including the replacement/installation of gutters and vinyl siding.

What are some visible signs that my roof needs repair?

Generally, there are two locations where potential roof issues can be identified. The first is the exterior of the home, or the shingles themselves. Loose/missing/damaged shingles can be easily identified from a visual inspection of the roof, even by the untrained eye. However, hail damage to shingles cannot be easily identified without stepping on the roof and closely inspecting the shingles. Homeowners may be able to identify potential hail damage by inspecting soft metals around the exterior of the home, such as gutters, flashing, or metal around windows or other locations. Metal fins on A/C units may also indicate potential hail damage. Dents in soft metals can indicate hail intensity which may have been strong enough damaged shingles. It is recommended to contact a professional roofing contractor to perform detailed inspections.

The second location for identification of issues is inside the home. Wet spots on the ceiling located below the roof can be a giveaway. It is not uncommon for vent boots (installed around exhaust piping) to break down under the sun's UV rays and begin to let water in. Additionally, any water around chimneys may indicate the flashing has not been installed properly and needs to be repaired.

What are the potential dangers associated with neglecting a roof that needs repair?

There are many risks associated with neglecting roof repairs, which are mainly time dependent. For instance, if you make a call for repair the same day that a leak is identified, there may be very little, if any damage to your home. However, if you were to wait several weeks or months, and many hard rains later, there could be potential that water could begin to saturate insulation, and if there is poor ventilation, this condition could promote the generation of mold or other fungi. Other common dangers can include damaging sheetrock in your home, likely on the ceiling. This would require removal of the sheetrock, replacement, and likely having to repaint either the damaged location or the entire ceiling depending on how well the paint matches with the remainder of the ceiling.

How often should my roof receive maintenance?

Most vent boots have a service life of approximately 5 years. At the 5 year mark, the rubber gaskets can begin to break down and crack, allowing water in at the surface of the exhaust pipes. Typically at this point the gaskets need to be re-sealed, or the vent boot needs to be replaced entirely, depending on the extent of deterioration. Sealants around flashing can also begin to degrade around the 5 year mark. Therefore, as a general rule of thumb, the performance of roof maintenance every 5 years is recommended to minimize the potential for costly repairs.

Generally, newly manufactured shingles are rated as 25-year and 30-year shingles. However, older roofs are installed with shingle products may begin to deteriorate around 15-20 years in service.

What are some new roofing materials that are durable?

Architectural shingles have become the standard of sorts. Architectural shingles are thicker and thus more durable when it comes to the harsh elements. Architectural shingles are rated at 30-years, and are preferred when compared to 3-tab shingles, which are typically rated at 20 and 25 years.

Ice and water shield is a product that's evolved over the last decade. This is a rubber membrane material that is installed at the bottom of eaves, in valleys, at endwalls, and around chimneys and piping penetrations. This material provides additional resistance to water and ice and locations that can be the most vulnerable to moisture.

For someone who knows they need repairs, where do you suggest they begin?

Research your local roofing companies. Look for companies that are licensed contractors, carry workman's compensation and general liability. Ask those companies for references. Do not pay money up front. Always get any agreed upon work signed off in a contract with your signature and the roofing contractor's signature. Be wary of storm chasers or contractors that are from out of town. These companies can perform the work, while promising a warranty, only to leave town when a hail storm hits another part of the country, leaving you with a difficult time getting them back on your roof.

What is the best way for people to reach you or your company?

You can reach our office by phone at 704.234.2961, visit us on the web at www.m1roofing.com, or like us on Facebook by searching "The M1 Roofing Group".

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