How Do I Know if I Need a New Roof?

Working in the Los Angeles Area, repairing roofs, building new roofs and replacing existing damaged roofs, seeing roofs day in and day out (for me, that’s just about a thousand roofs a year) I get to interact with homeowners and learn to see things from their perspective.  I want to learn why it is that people call on me – down to the little details, not just “I need a professional roofer.”  Why exactly do they need a professional roofer?  That’s the question I ask myself because my job depends on knowing the answer.

Certainly one of the more common things I hear is that they (of course) need their roof fixed, but not only don’t want to get on the roof in the first place, they wouldn’t know what to look for when they did.  And I’ve heard this from homeowners who were pretty construction savvy so don’t feel bad! And would I be better off with a new roof, getting a full roof replacement?

The truth is, being the best Los Angeles roofer has a lot to do with experience – seeing various leaks, over, and over, and over again.  I am fairly sure I see something new every day.  Sometimes I will look at a leak situation and cannot immediately figure out what it is.  Sometimes it takes destructive testing (tearing open the roof) in order to find out where the leak is and sometimes that is what we do.

What we’re looking for are tell-tale signs of water entry.  This could be sediment under the shingles in places it shouldn’t be, indicating water entry, rusty nails heads underneath (not always a sure sign but if they are the electro-galvanized nails, they shouldn’t rust easily), and so on.  Not the obvious stuff.

One thing that I have noticed is that it’s pretty hard to tell a good roof from a bad one, on the surface.  Especially hard if you don’t know what to look for.  On a shingle roof, some signs are:

•    the shingle lines are wavy,

•    not straight,

•    you can actually see exposed nail heads.

On a flat roof, if it looks “too clean” – there should be black lines where the rolls overlap, unless they covered them with extra white granules.

A roofing estimate should be free so if you’re not certain, call a professional roofer and have them check your roof over.  You don’t need to have a leak to get this done and there should be no charge, and no obligation.

Los Angeles roofer, Matt Glass, is co-owner of J and J Roofing, also servicing all areas including Burbank, Encino, Northridge, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Los Feliz and Silverlake for all roofing needs.

Matt Glass inspecting a roof
Matt Glass Inspecting a Roof