Frequently Asked Questions

Why Can’t I be given an exact start date for my job?

There are a lot of factors that come into play. Special order item lead times,the completion of jobs in the queue before yours, but most importantly the weather. The roofing business is effected by the weather more than any other construction industry. We simply cannot work in the rain, extreme heat, or in the snow. There are a few exceptions to this hard and fast rule.

Why can’t the roofing work that’s needed be done the same day as the estimate?

Most smaller companies that have one person that is the estimator, installer, office staff, billing department, and everything in between. Reiter Roofing is a full service roofing company. We have a full time office staff to help schedule one of our estimators to come out. We have a full time service department that can repair work that is under warranty. And most importantly we have dedicated installers that do nothing but install roofing. The reason we don’t do jobs the same day is simple. Our estimators are not installers, we only bring out the material that we need to get the job done right, it is this specialization that allows us to offer the best service possible to our customers.

What are the benefits of having my roof sealed and coated?

Roof sealing and coating is the most important thing you can do for an asphalt based flat roof. Re-sealing is preventive maintenence that will keep your roof free of leaks. We inspect all flashing details and make sure that they are water tight. Then we apply one of several types of reflective coating to your roof, as a means of reflecting the sun’s harmful UV light from your roof surface, both cooling your home, and protecting your roof from damage.

Why are most repairs only guaranteed for two years?

Repairs are just that, repairs. They are meant to get an existing roof into working condition, or to maintain an existing roof installation. Most roofing companies will not guarantee repair work. We offer a guarantee, because we stand behind the work that we do. In the rare case we feel a roof should not be repaired, but a customer is insistent upon it, for whatever reason, we will explicitly tell you that the roof is not going to be covered by a guarantee.

Why do my new shingles stick up a bit?

Shingles from the factory are stacked and vacuum sealed for shipping. When we install them they often are still stiff from being in the warehouse. As the shingles lay on the roof in the sun the asphalt material in them will soften and the shingles will lay down better. Often times if a shingle roof is installed in colder months, the shingles will need to warm up in the spring and summer before they lay down properly. There is also a tar strip on the back of the shingles that softens to adhere the shingles to the course beneath it. Don’t worry if new shingles look like they are not laying correctly, after a few weeks in the hot summer sun , they will lay right down where they belong.

Can/Should I use my new flat roof as a deck?

This is a tough one. Can you? Yes. Should you? No. This is one of the most commonly asked questions. The problem is that there is no set way to build a deck. Unlike the construction of a house, there is no set way of building a roof deck. Most deck contractors never build the same deck twice. This leads to problems with waterproofing the areas where the deck mounts to the building. The second problem comes in with the doors out to the deck. Entry doors are not designed to be put on the roof. They are designed to go at ground level of a building. When you install an entry door on the upper level of a house, you invite a while host of problems form the weather. The third reason that you shouldn’t build a deck on your roof is that, according to almost every customer that has one, you will probably never use it.

But I really, really want a deck on my roof. What should I do?

If you insist on a deck, there are options available to you that will lessen the impact of a deck installation. The first thing to consider is the door. The door needs to be properly flashed into the roof, before the door is installed. This will ensure that any water that gets under the threshold will work its way back out onto the roof. Your second consideration is the railing. The railing must be installed to allow your deck area to stay up to code. This railing should, ideally, be secured to the walls above your roof. If the railing must be fastened through the roof, these penetrations must be flashed properly. Your final consideration with the deck, should be the deck itself. Don’t waste a lot of money on having a carpenter come out to build an expensive wooden or composite deck that will need to be disassembled should a problem arise with the roof. There area myriad of options available today, that are both good for the environment, easy to install, and convenient to remove if need be. One of the nicest systems available is a system called AZEK Vast This system is so easy to remove if need be, that your two year old can do it. They are made out of recycled tires, so they’re good for the environment, and they are beautiful when done. We install these systems, so call us today for a quote.

Why can’t I be told exactly how much wood may be rotted under my roof before work has begun on the roof?

This is pretty basic. We don’t really know whether the wood underneath the roof is rotted, until we tear the roof off. We typically include a few sections of decking material in our estimates as a courtesy, but anything after that is charged for on an as installed basis.

Should I have all low spots on a flat roof built up?

In a perfect world, flat roofs would be perfectly flat and there would be no standing water on them. Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in the country, and the homes are very rarely brand new. Even if they are, the clay soil, the constant construction, and the heavy traffic around town all contribute to building settling. once the original lines of a building have shifted it is almost a guarantee that some water will lay on your flat roof. Have no fear, today’s materials are made to stand up to ponded water, without damage to the material, and this will not cause a leak. Most houses with a flat roof have at least some standing water on them. If your roof has a puddle on it, it is doing its job, and keeping that water out of your house. Ponding does not cause leaks, but it may make it so your roof requires maintenance a little more often than normal. Major ponding problems can be fixed with the installation of a tapered insulation system, and a new roof.

Do you do hot tar roofs?

Hot asphalt has gone up in price so much in the last few years, that it has made rubber roofing a better option. Asphalt roofing, while time tested, is messy, smelly, and potentially dangerous material. The asphalt must be applied at hundred of degrees, and bucketed up the side of your property on a rope and pulley system. Today’s torch down modified bitumen membranes are easy to install, easy to repair, safe, and cost effective. we have chosen to stick to torch down roofing for the most part, only breaking out the hot mops and kettle for jobs where mechanical fasteners cannot be used, such as on large commercial buildings with concrete decks.

Why did you have to make a return trip to fix my leak?

Roofing is as much of an art as is is a science. It is not always simple to located the area that caused a leak, as it takes an opening the size of a pinhead, which can grow to let water into a building. We try our best, and if you look at our reviews,, you will see that we do pretty well. On occasion it is necessary to eliminate the most obvious causes of a leak and then move onto more unlikely areas. Everyone these days is on a budget, and to accommodate this we try to allow people to do the least amount of work needed to stop a leak, if they want. This can only be achieved by breaking the job into likely repairs, but unfortunately this is not always a one step process.

Should I repair my damaged/water stained drywall before the roofing work to fix my leak is completed?

You should always wait. We want to be sure your roof no longer leaks, before you spend your hard earned money on interior repairs. One of the most common mistakes people make is that they prematurely make interior repairs, and don’t wait to make sure the leak is stopped. We suggest waiting for at least one or two big storms before completing interior repairs. It’s up to you, if your a gambler, go for it, but we don’t suggest it.

PA Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act