If the shingles are curling, the underlayment is unfurling, the roofing granules are degraded and the warranty is pro-rated, it may be time for a new roof.
Diligent research is paramount when picking out a new roof, according to Terry Stone, the owner of Affordable Quality Roofing.
"Most people's houses are the most important, most expensive asset they own, and they don't get that a cheap roof can destroy it," he says.
Located on Mountain Highway, the North Vancouver company has been putting lids atop houses since 1986.
"At the end of the day, roofing is not a cheap thing to do," says Stone.
The overall costs can be eased by choosing a high-quality roof and a high-quality roofing company.
Stone says there are a lot of companies out there that have a pickup truck, a name and a cellphone, and undercut everyone because they don't have the insurance and the liability.
Simply checking the roofing company's phone number and address to make sure they're based in the community can be worthwhile, according to Stone.
Once a company's track record is established, few things are as revealing as customer referrals. Stone recommends trying to track down a customer who hired the company several years ago in order to see how the roof has fared over years of snowfalls and rainy seasons.
"Check with the (Better Business Bureau), make sure they're accredited and how long they've been with the BBB," Stone recommends. "Make sure they have a WorkSafe BC account. You can actually phone (the Workers' Compensation Board) with their number."
If a company doesn't have the proper insurance in place, the homeowner can be on the hook for more than the price of the roof.
"If they hire someone who doesn't have all those things, when they come onto the house (the homeowner) becomes the actual general foreman," explains Stone, adding if anything happens to a worker the homeowner could be sued and held liable because they contracted them. Affordable Quality Roofing regularly keeps safety staff on the job site to monitor the roofing crew, says Stone.
While shingles can come with warranties ranging up to 50 years, those guarantees can be voided if the wrong roofers do the installation,
"Make sure the guys are ticketed and trained to do that product," says Stone.
The installers should have a diploma or ticket from the roofing manufacturer, proving they've been trained to install that particular shingle, according to Stone.
He advises customers to phone the manufacturer and confirm the roofing company is an approved installer.
"When a customer comes into our place, our diplomas are all sitting on the wall," says Stone.
Roofers should also be mindful of the importance of ventilation, noting without proper ventilation, homeowners can lose a third of the life expectancy of the roof.
Minimizing the temperature difference between inside and outside will extend the life of the roof. Good air flow will also reduce condensation in the attic.
A homeowner can usually extend the life of their roof with regular maintenance, says Stone.
"A couple of times a year, they should have someone go up with a leafblower, blow the leaves off."
Stone counsels his customers to not use a broom, which can strip the granules, a ceramic-coated rock, used on shingles.
"Just keep the roof clean and free of debris," says Stone. "Things can grow on it and actually embed into the shingle."