Every roof will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Proper maintenance and prompt damage repair can add years to a roof’s life. Most roofs have an expected lifespan of ten to twenty years but can last longer depending on the quality of the roofing materials and the skilled installers. Metal roofs and certain other high-end roofing materials last longer also. And the best roofing materials can fail quickly if the installers cut corners or do a poor installation job. This is one job that it is important to hire good dependable contractors with insurance and local licensing to do.
Choose the Right Contractor for This Job
Start by having a local, licensed roofing contractor inspect the home’s roof and perform repairs that may be needed. The right contractor is a local company who has a good reputation and good customer reviews. The contractor should know which permits to apply for and give the homeowner a contract listing materials, labor, and all costs. Are they certified by the roofing materials manufacturer to install their products? Are the roofing crew all experienced professionals? By having the contractor do roof repairs first, you can see the quality of their work and buy a little time for the existing roof.
The contractor should agree to install your roof promptly with few or no open days where it could rain and cause damage. The crews should show up on time, in uniform, and in clearly marked company trucks. They should use proper techniques to install the roofing and they should clean up at the end of the job. The homeowner should receive a roofing warranty.
Deciding When a New Roof is Needed
Check out the roof periodically from the yard or climb up to the roof on a ladder for a closer look. Are the shingles damaged, cracked, peeling, or balding? Are there shingles missing or curling up at the edges? Are there roof leaks? Does the whole roof look worn out? Is the roof over 20 years old? Check the roof after severe storm events and in the spring after a heavy snow winter. People who don’t want to climb ladders can shop for a good roofing contractor such as wildwoodroof.com and arrange for them to inspect and repair the roof as needed.
When a homeowner has their roof inspected regularly, the roofing company will perform repairs that help the roof to last longer and they will inform the homeowner when it is time to install a new roof. What if a new gutter system will extend the life of the roof for less money?
Can a New Roof Be Installed Over the Old Roof?
Roofing over might be tempting to save money but it is never a good idea. When the old roof is left in place, there is no opportunity to inspect the roof deck for rot and other damage. Layering roofing adds a tremendous amount of weight to the roof. Homeowners are better off to remove the old roof and start fresh with a new roof, properly installed. Another problem with roofing over old materials is that the same surface irregularities will telegraph through to the new roofing.
Choose The Best Roofing Materials You Can Afford
Since labor is a major part of the roofing cost, materials that last longer will save labor installation costs. 2 cheap roofs are more expensive than one good quality roof that lasts twice as long. Minimizing the times you must replace a roof is just good financial practice. A new roof is expensive so homeowners might need to seek funding such as a home improvement loan, or refinancing their home to pull out the equity that has built up.
There are choices in the materials to consider including metal, asphalt shingles, wood shingles, slate, clay tile, architectural shingles, and flat roof systems. The type of roof will play a part in the material choice. Flat roofs need special roofing systems, steep roofs, roofs with lots of gables, mansard roofs, and others have roofing material requirements. The overall design of the house will affect the choice of roofing.
Every type of roofing is available at different price points. Don’t choose the cheapest material. Instead, choose a better quality material that will last longer. What if a better material can be found on clearance in limited colors? Or, consider having the new roof installed during the off-season to save money.
Keep Tabs On The Process to Make Sure It is Done Right
If you know what the roofing installation process should look like,you can keep tabs on the crew. Knowing what should be done, you can ask the contractor if their bid includes all the steps which are:
- Remove the old roofing, flashing, and drip edging and deposit them in a dumpster.
- Repair the roof deck as needed
- If required, install ice dam protection
- Cover the roof deck with asphalt roofing paper that comes in rolls. The rows should start at the lower edge of the roof and are installed with an overlap to the top peak of the roof. Staples or tacks are used to keep this layer in place.
- Metal drip edging is applied around the edges of the roof using nails.
- Valley flashing is applied as needed.
- Starting at the lower edges and eaves the shingles are installed up to the roof peak. Roof vents are installed during this process. Flashing is installed around the chimney, skylights, and stack vents.
- When the shingles are installed right up to the roof peak, the ridge vent is installed.
When the installation of the new roof is complete, the crew should do a final clean up and allow the homeowner to inspect the job and approve it. In many communities, a building inspector might also have to be called to inspect the new roof. Taking care of the new roof and getting any storm damage promptly repaired will help the roof last years longer.
Some homeowners may consider installing their own new roof but most homeowners do not have the equipment or skills needed to do the best installation job. New roofs should be one job the homeowner leaves to professionals who warranty their materials and labor.