Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need a new roof?

Older roofing shingles and wood shakes typically have a 15- to 30-year lifespan depending on the shingles’ quality, the location and tree cover of your home, and how well the roof was installed originally. Direct sunlight, weather/wind, and poor roof deck ventilation also play a factor. Even though the GAF and Owens Corning shingles we use today have lifetime warranties, they didn’t a decade ago. We tell our customers that 12 years is a good rule of thumb to go by. At that point, check for these warning signs:

  • Curling shingles
  • Loss of the asphalt granulation
  • Evidence of leaking on your ceilings, (Stains, mold or mildew growth)
  • Leaks in the attic
  • Cracked or discolored interior drywall
  • Decaying shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Dark or dirty looking areas on your roof
  • Visible cracks
  • Wind damage
  • Broken or damaged shingles
  • Rusted or missing flashing
  • Popped or rusted nails or stains around nails

If a residential roof is over 15 years old, we recommend you call us for a look. Sometimes damage isn’t visible to the untrained eye on the ground, and catching it early can avoid expensive interior repairs in the future.

If I see any of these warning signs should I have my roof replaced?

This will depend on the condition of the roof.  Age of the roof and if the original installer installed the roof improperly.  Perfectly good roofing shingles can be repaired if the damage hasn’t affected their integrity. If roof shingles are old or installed improperly it is economically smarter to replace the entire roof.

How long will my roof system last?

This is based on a number of factors.  Longevity depends on the climate of your area, if your roof was installed properly and what type of roof material is on your roof.   Which is why choosing a skilled and reliable company that only uses the best materials is very important.  A new roof is a huge investment for your home which is why hiring the right contractor is extremely important and can prevent you from spending more money down the road.

Roof System Age Expectancy:

  • Slate roof system – 75-100 years with the environment not being a major concern.
  • Wood shake roofs – 50 years of life can be achieved in the Northwest states.
  • Metal roof panels – 30 + years can be achieved
  • Asphalt shingles – 20 – 50 years may be possible with great attic ventilation
  • Flat roof systems – 10-25 years

How do I know what roof type is best for my home?

There are a number of things to consider when selecting a new roof system. Of course, cost and durability are the most important, but aesthetics and architectural style are important too. The right roof system for your home or building is one that balances these four considerations. The following roofing products commonly are used for steep-slope structures.

Asphalt shingles – Asphalt roof shingles are the most popular roofing material used on homes across North America and with good reason. They are designed to protect a home through decades of weathering with minimal upkeep and are available in hundreds of colors and styles.  Asphalt shingles are among the most affordable options available.

Metal roofs – There are a number of advantages associated with metal roofs. Metal roofs are extremely strong and durable, adding lasting beauty to your home. Lightweight and in certain cases can be installed over an existing asphalt roof saving the cost of tear-off and disposal. Metal roofs help save on energy cost and are environmentally friendly.

Slate – Beautiful, timeless and considered virtually indestructible.  It is, however, more expensive than other roofing materials.

Cedar shakes – Not only is cedar absolutely breathtaking visually, but Cedar shakes are long lasting making it an ideal roofing material.

What will a new roof cost?

Several factors go into determining the cost of your new roof. They include the quality and professionalism of your roofing contractor, the brand and type of roofing material you select; the size of your roof and the shape and slope of your roofline.

Don’t choose a roofing contractor on cost alone. Price is a factor, but not the only factor you should consider. Quality roofing material and contractor workmanship have value. Hiring the cheapest roofing contractor could cost more in the long run when you consider the cost to repair and the damage it causes.

Get a roofing estimate for an accurate idea. Mid-Shore Exteriors estimates are convenient, fair, and come with no obligation.

I’ve received several estimates that vary greatly in price, why is this?

If one estimate seems much lower than the others and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Many fly-by-night contractor’s below-cost bids seem attractive, but these are contractors are often uninsured and perform shoddy work. If an estimate is confusing, ask the contractor to break down the estimate into terms/items you can understand.  Clearly, written proposals that are detailed and broken down into separate line items are a good sign that the contractor is being thorough and has prepared an accurate estimate. The following is a partial list of items your estimate or proposal should include:

  • The type of roof covering, manufacturer and color
  • Materials to be included in the work, e.g., underlayment, ridge vent.
  • Scope of work to be done
  • Removal or replacement of the existing roof
  • Flashing work, e.g., existing flashings to be replaced or re-used, adding new flashing, flashing metal type
  • Ventilation work, e.g., adding new vents
  • Payment procedures
  • Length of warranty and what is covered

Is it possible to have a new roof installed during the winter months?

Sometimes, your roof needs replacing now — and it can’t wait for warmer temperatures.   If you call around and talk to roofing contractors, some might tell you that it’s never okay to replace a roof in the winter, or when temperatures fall below freezing. They might mention about adhesives not sealing properly.  It might sound like a reasonable explanation, but is it accurate? Do roofing materials simply stop working when the temperatures dip too low? The answer is simple: no. Not only can you replace a roof in the winter, but it might also even be less expensive.   Homeowners may find that some roofing companies charge less in the winter months because they experience a slump in business when the weather is cold. When you work with an experienced contractor, however, you can expect them to be busy year-round.  Asphalt Shingles contain a strip of sealant that interacts with warm temperatures — which you normally get during summer, late spring and fall — resulting in an automatic seal.   If nailed properly the shingles will stay in place and the shingles will seal as the temperature warms.

Will a new roof raise my home’s value?

Absolutely! A new gives you the opportunity to cut cooling costs while improving curb appeal and resale value.  A new roof probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about home improvements that increase home value. But research done reveals that having a new roof installed can have a big impact on home value –specifically on home resale value.  A new roof is definitely a positive selling point just as a roof at end of life will almost always result in either losing a buyer or a bank that won’t finance the property. Keeping a home in tip-top condition will definitely make a difference in the presentation and sellability of the home.

Will my property be damaged from getting a new roof?

When you hire a roofing contractor to replace your existing roof you shouldn’t have to worry about damage to your siding, windows, lawn, shrubbery, flowers and/ or landscaping. Yet in years past many roofing contractors would simply toss debris and old material to the ground (tarp) and even park dump trucks or trailers on the property causing damage to lawns, shrubs, and even fences.  While using a tarp may seem adequate on face value, it’s important to consider that removing an already existing roof requires roofers to move thousands of pounds of materials. These materials are not just shingles, they also include nails and underlayment, and if not properly disposed of could result in future problems.

The best way to avoid these problems in the first place is to choose a roofing contractor who knows how to avoid property damage while installing a new roof. Luckily Mid-Shore Exteriors proudly offers homeowners a solution to these unfortunate practices with our self-propelled roofers buggy which collects shingle debris.  This self-propelled buggy helps protect your property and provides peace of mind, ensuring that once your roof is complete, your property will look the same as it did before the work started.

Can I do anything to extend the life of my roof?

Have the roof professionally inspected every two or three years and have small repairs made as needed.  Things to inspect for:

Always repair any damage or leaks promptly. One of the most important tips for extending the life of your roof is to take care of any leaks or damage as soon as you notice it, and not to put it off and allow the problem to get worse. Many homeowners are nervous about the disruption and cost of getting their roof replaced, and may think that they can live with a little leaking here and there to save money. However, what really saves money is calling in the professionals ASAP and allowing them to fix a small problem before it gets bigger.

Keep the roof and all gutters free of debris. Whether there is a large broken branch on your roof or just a buildup of autumn leaves in the valleys or gutters, it is important to clear clutter off regularly. Not only can a large branch scrape the shingles and damage them, leaves that sit in a valley cause a damn resulting in leaks, and clogged gutters can create a backflow of water that can introduce rot or damaging ice under the roof shingles or even into the house.

Prevent moss, mold and mildew growth. Anything growing on the roof has the potential to break down the materials and cause damage over time. Having your roof pressure washed is an appropriate solution.

Inspect around chimneys, skylights, and any roof penetrations. Any place in the house where the roof is interrupted by a chimney, skylight, pipe or other item should be inspected regularly for any sign that the surrounding seal is damaged or compromised. Climb up into your attic or crawlspace under the roof and look for any signs of water or mold coming into the house. Discolored boards and rusted nails could be a sign that there is some sort of leak.

Look for signs of animal or insect damage. Another thing to look for while you are in the attic is any sign of animal activity or insect damage. You do not have to be out in the country to have squirrels, mice and raccoons find their way into your attic for some warmth and shelter. Look for droppings, areas where the wood is chewed or has burrow holes, or any holes to the outside

Do I need to do anything before the installation process starts?

Think about kids and pets – Loud noises coming from the home may increase anxiety or disturb sleep habits. While it may be exciting to watch from a safe distance, work zones are extremely unsafe for children and pets.  Talk with your kids to explain that certain areas of the home or yard will be off-limits until the project is complete.

Relocate your vehicles -Contractors need quick access to their tools and trucks throughout the day. They need a place to load shingles and debris. You’ll want to keep your vehicles a safe distance from this area until work is completed.  You should also keep your garage doors closed during construction to keep out dust and debris.

Remove any valuable wall decorations or valuables from mantels – The vibrations from hammers and machinery on your roof may travel through some walls of your home, especially if repairs to the existing deck are needed.

Cover belongings in the attic – During a roof replacement, numerous installers will be walking on your roof, pounding it with hammers. Dust or small debris will fall in attic spaces during a new roof installation.  You can keep personal items cleaner by covering them with old sheets or drop cloths until the roofing company is finished. Be prepared to do some light vacuuming in these areas after construction is complete.

Move grills, patio furniture and potted plants away from the work zone –If you don’t have a garage or shed, you may want to put these items together in an area of the yard that is a safe distance from the work zone.

Cut grass before construction begins – Short grass will help keep fallen debris from hiding in your lawn, making cleanup faster and more thorough.

Talk to your neighbors – Let your neighbors know about the planned work. Give them an anticipated timeframe for the duration. They will thank you!

Construction at your home can create unexpected obstacles. Extension cords or other construction equipment that isn’t normally present can create potential hazards.  Stay alert during this time to prevent avoidable injuries. Finally, it is always best to communicate with your roofing company throughout the roof installation process. Most importantly, remember that this construction and any inconvenience it brings is temporary. Soon you will have the new roof that you’ve been waiting for.

From Our Customers

"Mid Shore Exteriors, We are very pleased with our new roof. It looks so wonderful. Your workers worked very hard and answered any questions we had. We are truly impressed by your work. Again, thanks for making our home look so wonderful."

- Jack and Teresa Lewis

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