A lot is riding on your home’s roof.
It carries the weight of the world while withstanding decades of scorching sun rays, pounding rains, gusting winds, and icy winters all while looking good from the street.
As a homeowner, getting a roof replacement can seem like a daunting undertaking.
While it is expected that the contractor will walk you through the process and help you to prepare for the work beforehand, it is not always the case.
This article provides all the information you will need to prepare for your roof replacement.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Roof
If you are concerned about the condition of your roof but aren’t sure if it’s time for a full replacement, pay attention to the following signs.
These are clear indicators that it’s time for your roof to be replaced.
End of Life – No roofs last forever (although copper comes close). Asphalt shingles are the most common residential roofing materials and they have an average lifespan of 15-30 years. Metal roofing lasts about twice that long. If your roofing materials are nearing the end of their lifespan, it’s time to consider a replacement.
Significant Damage – The best way to check for roof damage is to have a professional inspection. The inspection should be free of charge and is the best way to evaluate every inch of your roof for any damage. This may include curling, broken, or missing shingles as well as leaks, wind and storm damage, or sagging roofline issues. While roof repair may be an option in some cases, as a rule of thumb, the most effective solution for damage that affects more than 30% of your roof is a replacement.
Two Methods of Roof Installation
When your roof is due for replacement, there are two options you can choose from; overlay or complete removal.
1. Overlay – This replacement method consists of installing new shingles or metal roofing without removing the old roof material first. While most building codes allow for two layers of asphalt shingles on a house, it is not recommended by experts.
The benefits of overlay:
- An overlay is cheaper because you save the labor and disposal costs involved with removing old shingles.
- This method also reduces waste by simply covering up the old roofing material rather than disposing of it.
- It is also a faster way to install the roof as you don’t have to wait for the old roofing materials to be removed.
Why roofers don’t recommend overlay:
- Putting an additional layer of shingles over the old one may make the roof too heavy and cause structural issues.
- Some manufacturers consider the terms of warranty breached if you overlay new shingles over old ones.
- When you simply cover up old shingles, underlying problems may be ignored and contribute to worsening existing damage.
2. Tear-Off – This is the recommended method of roof replacement installation. It starts with the complete removal and disposal of all old roof materials before the installation of a new roof.
Why choose a full replacement:
- When you remove the existing roof, it is easy to spot underlying problems with the sheathing or decking and take care of them before replacing them with new roofing materials.
- A roof installed after tear-off is typically more durable because the shingles can lay more flat when installed.
- This is the best way to ensure that the manufacturer’s warranty is guaranteed.
Important things to know about a complete replacement:
- Typically, this will be more expensive due to the additional labor and materials required.
- There is some additional time required to tear off the old materials, but most roofers can have your old roof gone and replaced with a new one within 2-3 days.
Because building codes only allow up to two layers of roofing materials, you may not have a choice and will be required to tear them off before a new installation.
8 Tips To Prepare For Your New Roof
Once the roofing company arrives, your home turns into a work zone. Preparing for this experience ahead of time can help eliminate some potential liabilities.