Frequently Asked Roofing Questions

Even though hail damage is serious enough that your home owner's insurance may replace your roof, it is difficult to see it. One needs to be on the roof and know what one is looking for. The impact of the hail creates small dimples which causes shingle granules to erode away over time, so often there is hardly any indication of the damage soon after the storm.
Perhaps counter-intuitively, it is not always better to have more ventilation. The problem is with combining ventilation systems. For example, if passive roof vents (like box vents) are installed along with power vents, the passive vents act as intake points, bypassing the vents in the soffits. This mean the air in the lower regions of the attic is not circulated.
Some roof contractors urge homeowners to file a claim with their insurance company even though there is little indication of hail damage. There is always a chance they could get the work. The problem is that even if your claim is denied, it still becomes part of your claims history, and could provoke the insurance company to drop you.
Some roofing companies will, if requested, install the new shingles on top of the old ones. Most city building codes allow two layers of shingles. This can save a few dollars (not really that much), but I don't recommend it. The elevated roof level causes problems with wall and chimney flashing, and the wood, which may be compromised, is not examined if the old shingles are not removed.
Many roofs can be installed in one long day. Most roofs can be installed in less than two days. Exceptionally large or very steep roofs may take longer.
Yes, it does matter. Darker shingles hide algae streaking better (the algae, in this case, is black), but lighter shingles reflect more of heat energy. This can be enough of a difference to make it easier to cool your upper level rooms in the summer.
Most homeowners install architectural shingles these days, instead of traditional three-tab shingles. The cost difference is not so much (about $400 extra for most roofs), yet instead of the 25 year materials warranty one receives with three tab shingles, one gets a lifetime warranty with architectural shingles. Plus the shingle are stiffer, thus less susceptible to wind damage.