What to look for in hiring roofing contractor?

I live in Columbia SC area, single story, no dormers, moderate pitch (you can walk on it being careful.. I don't know the actual pitch) with asphalt shingle roof in place. I have no visible leaks yet, but noticed vertical cracks in shingles that run 3 or 4 ft long. I have ridge vents, and soffit vents aren't blocked.. The shingles are not curled. From the ground, or ladder my roof looks great!.. But when you get up on it you see these cracks.. large number of them.. Should I do a tear off? (current roof is original.. 19 years old) Should I wait for warmer weather? We're having temps in the mid 60's this week,, but no telling for the next month.. Any suggestions on finding contractor? Besides asking neighbors.. I have the BBB web site bookmarked.. Are fiberglass shingles worth the extra costs? Do I insist on full coverage of felt paper or is that just a cold weather item? (currently have felt of unknown weight..) What about flashing? Part of roof is less pitch, which causes two areas of roof to meet siding. I can see parts of flashing from attic where it transitions from behind siding to under shingles.. if this is in good shape does it need to be replaced? same with what's around chimney.. Nice and shiny like new.. Thanks for any advice all this caught me by surprise.... I knew it was 19 years old though.. Chuck (in SC)
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relax, you'll have until it leaks to fix it! looks like the basics are covered in your questions. http://www.ehow.com/how_9347_hire-roofing-contractor.html in buffalo ny they require tearoffs and allow only one layer of shingles. let your roofer decide when to do it he may have expensive leaking jobs he'd prefer to clear first. wait for warmer weather unless the attic or crawl space is showing problems. spending money on a properly pitched new rain gutter system to get the water away from the house is important. sounds like you think the last guy did a nice job, maybe look him up again?
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Teraroff costs more, but it depeds on local code and existing condition. If the new roof will not lay flat, you should do a tearoff.

It can be done much colder. Those temperatures are not a factor.

BBB is a waste unless there are many problems with a contrctor. Best results are talking to neighbors, looking around the neighborhood to see who is doing work.

They are generlly not used in my regions so I don't know.

It will probably be replaced. Talk to the roofer. Good ones will give you sound advice, but yes, I'd go with the felt.

Flashing is cheap. If the roofer thinks it should be replaced, listen to him. Do it now, not some makeshift crap later.

Most builder's grade roofing is designed for 20 years. You may get another year or so if it is not leaking so no reason to rush into things. Take your time and talk to a few roofers and choose one that has been around and you feel comfortable with. Some of the best are small, two, three man operations.. IMO, all the major brands of roofing are very good. Choose a style and color you like but don't get the cheapest. In most cases, a 30 year architectural shingle is the best buy.
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Ignore what Edwin the Polack says is the first rule. Rip off the old roofing before it leaks and put down a new fiberglass shingle roof. Fiberglass exceeds asphalt in all tolerences and is cheaper to boot.
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Rule? I said it was a rule?
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Chuck wrote:

Vertical cracks? Do you mean that there are 4' long cracks running up the slope of the roof? If so, you're looking at the edges of the plywood telegraphing through the shingles. You may have a bigger problem than the dying shingles.
Since you have access in the attic you should get up there and see if you can see where there are gaps between the rafters and roof sheathing. To locate the areas in question count the number of tabs that the worst crack is from the edge of the roof. One tab equals one foot, then go inside and measure - make sure to allow for roof overhangs.
R
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Aiui, the felt IS the roof. The shingles are there to protect the felt, and the wood is there to prevent the felt from falling down.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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wrote:

Thanks for the advise guys.. Chuck (in SC)
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