How to Understand Your Roof Replacement Needs
Posted on Thursday, January 18th, 2024 at 11:47 am
A roof replacement is a more comprehensive service than your average repairs. It’s similar to new construction and requires skilled contractors with specialized training to ensure building code compliance during installation. Every roofing system is unique, so understanding when it needs replacement and why is crucial for your safety.
Common Reasons for a Roof Replacement
There are many reasons why your home or property may require a new roof, so it’s important to know what to look for.
Common signs you need a roof replacement include:
- Water-Related Damages: Mold, mildew, leaks, sagging spots, pooling, etc.
- Material-Related Damages: Cracked, dented, or missing shingles
- Granule Gutter Buildup: Shingle particles clogging your gutters and vent ducts
- Storm-Related Damages: Holes, heavy rust, and metal corrosion, etc.
- Age: Roofs that are 15+ years old
If you notice any of these signs on your roof, you must contact a roofing company as soon as possible. Severe roofing damage poses serious health and safety risks, like mold growth and cave-ins.
Roofing Material Options
Depending on your property condition and where you live, you may want to consider a new roofing material option. Some materials have longer lifespans or stronger durability against the outdoor elements, which may be more beneficial.
The most popular roofing materials and their average lifespans include:
- Single-Ply: Strong, flexible sheets with a reflective coating, lasts 15 to 20 years
- Asphalt Shingles: Concrete-like shingles and most affordable, lasts 25 to 30 years
- Metal: Metal panels with high heat absorption and reflectivity, lasts 30 to 50 years
- Synthetic Shingles: Recycled and durable materials with high impact, lasts 40 to 50 years
- Cedar Shake: Natural wooden materials with various grades and no warranty, lasts 30 to 50 years
- Slate: Natural materials with a longer lifespan of 75 to 100 years
- Clay or Concrete Tile: Fire, wind, snow, and pest resistant, lasts 50 to 100 years
- Built-Up Roof (BUR): Multiple felt and bitumen plies with strong adhesion, lasts 15 to 25 years
If you live in hotter climates with prolonged sun exposure, consider reflective materials, like metal and single-ply. In areas with consistent rain or humidity, consider clay or concrete tiles, as they don’t rot in wet climates.
Since each roofing material has unique physical properties and benefits, they’ll also have varying pricing for these reasons. There are also other costs to consider, like contractor labor for installation and your roof’s size.
Roof replacement costs range around $11,500 for the average home, and up to 60% is accounted towards labor, so keep this as a rule of thumb when budgeting.
Plan your expenses before your current roofing material reaches its age and harsh seasons, like winter or hurricanes—this way you have more time to save before it’s too late.
The Roof Replacement Process
While the process to replace your roof will depend on a few factors. Residential and commercial properties have unique roofing systems and regulations contractors must adhere to. Installation will also vary on the roofing materials as they have different installation methods.
Generally, the process for replacing a roof includes:
- Initial Inspection: Contractors will inspect your roof’s current condition to determine the best course of action for replacement based on damage severity and age.
- Material Selection: They’ll recommend the best roofing material option based on your property’s structure and location.
- Insurance Claim: You’ll be provided with a roof inspection report as evidence to support your claim for potential coverage and premium discounts.
- Existing Roof Removal: Roofers will remove your existing roofing system to prepare for replacement.
- New Roof Installation: They’ll install your new roofing system with methods unique to the materials used.
- Final Inspection: Contractors will conduct a final inspection to ensure the installation is secure and compliant.
Some roofing materials require multiple layers or heat adhesion during installation. Ensure you ask your roofing company what the installation process entails for the materials you select and your property size.
Selecting a Roofing Contractor
A roof replacement is only as good as its contractors. When searching for a roofing company, always confirm their contractors and subcontractors are all licensed and insured. It prevents you from liability issues if they become injured on your property or accidentally cause further damage.
Additionally, look at their portfolio of work for replacing roofs, as this requires specialized training. Check if they have experience and a successful track record with your roofing material type. A reliable roofing company should also offer you references, workmanship guarantees, and sometimes extended warranties.