No one needs to remind a homeowner that owning a home is the largest financial investment you’ll ever make. Installing a new roof seems like a big expense, but with today’s roofing materials it’s a smart move that can reduce your heating and air conditioning costs for decades to come.
Thomas Garvey, a local roofing contractor and owner of Garvey Roofing will gladly explain. It’s important to note that roofing estimates are always free and he makes a unique claim in the industry: he guarantees all labor and materials on the job.
Read on to learn more.
Repair the Existing Roof or Install a New Roof?
This is the most common roofing question that Thomas Garvey answers. Homeowners and commercial building owners from Pasadena and Alhambra to Azusa and Rowland Heights want to know if their leaking roof can be repaired before they invest in a tear off and install.
That makes sense because who wants to spend money if you don’t have to?
Thomas has been a local roofing contractor around the San Gabriel Valley for over 30 years. Here’s how he answers: it depends.
What a repair or install decision depends on two key variables:
- The condition of the existing roof
- The goals of the homeowner or commercial building owner
Take a closer look.
A roof that needs replacing has one or more of the following problems:
- Older asphalt shingles that have a bump underneath—the roof won’t lay flat
- Shingles that curl at the edges
- Missing granules that no longer provide UV protection
- Missing shingles
- Torn underlayment
- Water spots in the attic
- Water marks along interior walls
- Ridge caps that are worn, loose and missing
- Hot tar on a flat roof that’s cracking
- Worn flashing around vents and chimneys
If your roof is more than 10-15 years old and has one more of these conditions, then you’re better off making the investment in a new roof instead of trying to repair an older roof.
Repairs can be done when the roof looks in good condition and issues like drip edge or flashing needs installed.
Flat roofs are common in homes from around places like the Altadena Golf Course and Farnsworth Park to the cities of Temple City and Duarte. Water can pool in one area and rot the decking. If the rest of the roof is in good condition, then it’s possible to repair the rotted wood and re-install the flat roof material.
If older, hot tar is the covering then it can make sense to go with a membrane that’s lifetime material that reflects the sun since insulation will be improved and the roof will last for decades.
Let’s learn about heat
The San Gabriel Valley has a fairly temperate climate with chilly but comfortable temperatures in the winter with summer temps that reach upwards of 160 degrees on the top of your roof.
Before we go on, it’s important to know these three basics about heat flow: conduction, convection and radiation. The Department of Energy gives these easy-to-understand illustrations about heat and insulation:
- Conduction is when you put a spoon in hot coffee or boiling water. The handle gets hot, doesn’t it? It’s conducting heat.
- Convection is heat moving through liquids and gasses, which is why heat rises.
- Radiant heat travels in a straight path and heats up any material that will absorb it.
A roof with older materials or decaying shingles and underlayment will absorb the heat or let it pass through into the attic and home.
A newer roof with the right amount of attic insulation and air flow will prevent the inside of your home from heating up—so your home will be more energy efficient.
Knowing this can help you decide if you need a new roof or repair. But let’s consider another factor: your plans to stay in your home or own your commercial building.
What are your goals?
If your roof can be repaired and last for at least the next five years then that may be the route to go. If you’re selling your house or other building within that time frame then you can disclose the roof to the new buyer.
However, if you plan to stay in your house or own the building for the next several years or longer then seriously consider the benefits of installing a new roof.
What do you think will happen to the costs of labor, materials and dumping fees in the next decade? They’ll go up.
But the other reason to get a new roof and have proper insulation is that you’ll reduce your energy costs a great deal.
Energy and roofing
Solar roofing is the trend in California since roofs are great for capturing energy from the sun and, with quality batteries, can power a house around the clock and provide energy to others.
But here’s another concept: a passive house.
That’s a construction concept for the ultimate in an energy efficient home. Passive homes allow for up to 90% in energy savings compared to homes that are built with typical construction.
Building science is important to Thomas Garvey and he can provide solar roofs for customers who’ll benefit. However, he can also install a new roof at about one-third the cost and have the cooling and heating work efficiently.
It has to do with:
- The materials used on the outside of the roof
- Insulation in the attic
- And proper ventilation to keep air flowing
Underlayments like ThermaSheet have powerful reflective abilities. They don’t absorb the sun’s rays and will send the heat back into the atmosphere.
Quality decking, a reflective underlayment, and either highly reflective shingles or today’s tile roofing solutions are coated with layers of granules that protect against the sun as well.
So that’s the outside of a home.
Commercial buildings that are low slope or nearly flat will have fewer choices, but the material is also more resistant to the sun’s rays than any materials previously on the market.
Now, let’s go into the attic.
Ventilation and Insulation
Heat seeks out cooler areas. In the summer, the sun’s heat wants to get inside the living spaces of your home or inside your apartments or retail building. During the winter, the heat in your home is seeking for ways to flow outside.
As noted by the Department of Energy, “heat flows from warmer to cooler until there’s no longer a difference [in temperature].”
We want that difference, don’t we? That’s why ventilation and attic insulation are so important.
The roof’s underlayment and either shingles or tiles are the first line of defense while your attic’s ventilation and the insulation become your critical second line of defense. The best roofing materials that are expertly installed
Thomas likes to educate homeowners on the value of ventilation and how to achieve the best air flow. He also weighs in issues like potential fire danger since he repairs and installs so many roofs north of the 210 freeway in cities like Bradbury and the upper sections of Monrovia and Sierra Madre.
Air movement in the attic in the wintertime reduces moisture, dries out the wood and is a barrier against mold formation. In the summer, air flow lowers the temperature in the attic.
Visit the Garvey Roofing Insulation page to see what we use in our customer’s attics.
Insulation in your attic and walls is a thermal resistant barrier so heat doesn’t move in or out of your house or commercial building. Your home’s temperature will remain consistent and use less air conditioning in the hottest months and less heat in the coolest months.
Insulation has R-value—the higher the R value then the more protection it provides.
For a complete look at insulation and keeping your home as energy efficient as possible, check out this Home Energy Saver calculator from the Department of Energy.
Choosing Your Local Roofing Contractor
As you look at making your home energy efficient with a new roof install or roof repair, then here’s why Garvey Roofing deserves consideration. Thomas Garvey has been in business for more than 30 years but his licensing and guarantees set the company apart from other local roofing contractors serving the San Gabriel Valley.
Garvey Roofing holds four licenses:
- Installation – including fire proofing and preventing leaks
- General contracting license—this lets us handle any carpentry-related tasks your job may need including structural framing and woodwork
Thomas is sought after by insurance companies to give expert testimony on roofing disputes in Los Angeles County.
He’ll make sure that your job is done properly so that you have peace of mind for years after the job is finished.
Thomas Garvey serves the area from La Crescenta, just of the Rose Bowl to Azusa, south to Rowland Heights and Alhambra. He wants you to be informed. Here are topics on the Garvey Roofing blog that you’ll find useful:
- Knowing Costs for Roofing Repairs and New Roof Installations
- Your Best Roofing Guide for Homeowners in the San Gabriel Valley
- What to Know When Adding a Room and Changing Your Roof