Chicago roofing expert offers replacement advice

Chicago roofing expert offers replacement advice

When going over your home maintenance checklist, don't overlook the roof! By keeping your roof in good condition you can prevent bigger problems and extra costs later on. To answer some common roofing questions, we spoke to Larry Tansey, partner and vice president of highly rated Tans' Quality Roofing in Chicago.

Paul Tansey founded Tans’ Quality Roofing 30 years ago. His brother, Larry, worked with him for a few years, then went into the print business for 22 years. As his brother’s business grew, Larry saw the opportunity to apply everything he’d learned about logistics and coordination to roofing, and he joined the company three years ago.

"There's a lot of customer communication that's important from the very first phone call until after the job is done," Larry says. "If you're going to buy a product for your house, you want to know the contractor takes you seriously and has planned out the job."

What are some things I should keep in mind when having my roof repaired or replaced?

You should periodically give your roof a good visual check. Make sure one side's not getting worn out more than the other, look for any tree branches caught in the roof, and check the attic for water damage.

With a new roof, you shouldn't have to do any maintenance. Once you're past the warranty period, whether it's five years, 10 years or a different length, have an experienced person take a look.

On shingle roofs, discolored and curled shingles are a sign something's wrong. On a flat roof, look for damaged flashing, cracks in the roofing material, problems where the seams overlap, and water or air pockets that make the material blister.

Are there energy-efficient roofing options?

There's a lot of energy-efficient options out there. Solaris shingles have recently come out, and they make a big difference. They're the most reflective shingle out there. We expect they'll be very popular. Flat roofs can get white coating, which reflects quite a bit of solar heat.

Your material cost for energy-efficient roofing is going to be higher, and the total job cost will probably go up by 15 or 20 percent, but you can get tax credits for a lot of these costs. Plus, it could help with your utility bills, and with selling the house down the line.

What tips do you have for hiring a roofing contractor?

When you're having a contractor repair or replace your roof, make sure the contract isn't vague. You want a warranty. You want them to give brand names of the products you're using. That can make a big difference, especially when it comes to getting support from the manufacturer. They should specify how many nails they'll put in each shingle.

Make sure your contractor is a state-licensed roofer, bonded, insured and licensed to do business in your municipality. Meet them face-to-face and ask for a list of references. Trust and dependability are two of the biggest things to look for when hiring a roofing contractor.

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