Roof Replacement Services: A Complete Guide
When a roof starts to show signs of wear and tear or begins to leak, it can be a stressful thing. That is especially true if you have an old roof that is more prone to problems. It is important that you take care of any issues early, but that can be a major task since it requires both time and money to repair, much less replace a roof.
However, while it might not be something you want to face, the time will eventually come. The good news is that there are plenty of options, and once you replace a roof, you do not have to worry about it again for a long time. In the following article, you will find all the information you need on a roof replacement.
Roof Replacement Versus Reroofing
Before diving deep into the world of roof replacement, it is important to understand that there are a few options available if your roof needs work. The first is simple repairs, which are feasible if you do not see widespread damage and the roof is not very old. The best news is that most repairs can be done without the need for a professional.
However, if there is widespread damage or it is just time for major work on the roof, then you have two options. The first is a full roof replacement, while the other is reroofing. Below, you will find information on both methods and some information on choosing which is right for you. If in doubt, consult a professional.
A roof replacement is one option when you want to repair a roof with a lot of wear and tear. It involves stripping away all of the old shingles, then replacing them with fresh shingles, essentially providing a full reset. The best part is that once the job is done, you usually have 20 or so years before you need to worry about the roof again.
There are a lot of reasons to go with a roof replacement over other methods, such as:
- Roof replacements are durable and offer the longest lifetime
- There is no need to worry about added weight due to multiple layers of shingles
- The removal gives a clear view of the roof, allowing any other issues to be found
- It is the most cost-effective method if you consider the longevity
One of the only negatives about a roof replacement is how much labor is involved. It requires more material, and the removal means more time, which will increase the cost.
Choosing Between Roof Replacement and Reroofing
The advantages and disadvantages highlight the main difference, which is the durability and longevity of the repairs. Roof replacement offers a complete solution that is likely to last at least 20 years. While it might be more expensive and require more time, it offers far more, including the ability to change the type of roofing or find hidden damage.
On the other hand, reroofing is all about convenience and efficiency. It provides a quick and inexpensive solution that adds a protective layer without requiring the time and effort of a full replacement. However, it comes at the cost of durability, and it does not account for other areas that might be on the verge of showing damage.
Is New Roofing Necessary?
One important thing to determine before you do anything else is whether new roofing is necessary. An easy way to determine this is to call a professional since they know the signs, but you can also try to figure it out yourself.
One of the most common signs you are in need of new roofing is age. Roofs usually last around 20 to 25 years, though this varies by the material. If you know the roof is a few decades old, it is a good idea to get a thorough inspection. The same is true if you notice obvious signs of wear, especially widespread curled or missing shingles. Other signs that it might be time to replace your roof are:
- Leaks or sunlight coming in through a crawlspace or attic
- Any obvious signs of sagging or loss of integrity, especially at the valleys
- Moss appearing on the roof or coming from beneath the shingles
- Signs of loose or damaged flashing
If you have them, you can also check the gutters since debris from shingles that are falling apart often ends up there. While none of these things guarantee a roof is in need of replacing, they are all good reasons to call a pro to assess your roof.
Common Types of Roofing Materials
The most impactful choice when replacing your roof is the type of material you are going to use. Each material has its own benefits, such as a longer lifespan, greater durability, and special resistance that make them a must in some areas. Other factors that might influence your decision include price, the pitch of the roof, and aesthetic preference.
Below, you will see a variety of common material options, including various types of shingles, metal, tile, slate, and more. You should consider every option, and if you are unsure of what is most suitable for the area, simply ask a professional.
When it comes to popularity, none of the other options match up to asphalt shingles. They do not exactly look the best with their flat, rather dull appearance, but they are inexpensive and easy to install. The price for a three-tab asphalt roof will start around $7,000 for a small house, and it will last anywhere between 15 and 30 years.
If you are looking to go with asphalt shingles but want something a bit nicer, there are also architectural shingles, which differ from the usual three-tab variety. They have a better appearance, last far longer, and provide more protection while remaining affordable. The price will start around $9,000 or $11,000, depending on the lifetime of the shingles.
Wood shingles are far more appealing than their asphalt counterparts, but they come with a few downsides. For one, they are more expensive, reaching nearly $14,000 for a small house, and installation is more difficult.
Moreover, some areas do not allow wood shingles since they pose a fire risk, which means they might not be an option if you live somewhere prone to wildfires. The good news is that they last a long time with proper maintenance, reaching a lifespan of up to 40 years in areas with mild weather. But that is assuming you perform regular repairs.
As one might expect, metal is incredibly durable, and it is also fireproof, which is a big plus. Metal roofing is also quite appealing and comes in multiple styles, so you do not have to sacrifice appearance for durability.
That being said, metal roofing can be quite expensive due to the material and the skill required for proper installation. Even for a small job, the price can start at around $23,000. The good news is that metal lasts a long time, reaching lifespans of 30 to 50 years and proving a solid investment in the long run.
Clay and concrete tile roofs might not be as popular as some of the other options, but they are solid options seen in the Southwest. They also boast an impressive lifespan, ranging anywhere from 50 to 100 years. Of course, they are prone to cracking, especially when stepped on, but they are an appealing and long-lasting choice.
The pricing is a bit higher than most of the other roofing materials. Concrete is the cheapest option, while ceramic tile is more expensive. However, even at its cheapest, tile roofing starts at around $20,000, while it can easily reach about $50,000 for a small home.
Finally, there is slate roofing, which not only looks fantastic but has a lifetime of 50 to 75 years. With proper care, they can last even longer, but they are a bit tedious to keep up. Broken tiles need to be replaced in a timely fashion, and it requires the use of a skilled craftsman.
The cost is also a major barrier for most people considering slate. A simple job for a small house can reach up to $50,000, and it varies based on multiple factors. Because of the costs involved, it is considered a luxury option.
Choosing the Right Roofing
Often, price and appearance are the determining factors when choosing a roofing material. If you like wood, it might be worth the extra money to go with wood shingles over asphalt. You might also want to take on the upkeep of slate if you have the income to spare. However, aside from aesthetics and cost, the area you live in matters as well.
As mentioned above, wood is not great if fires are common, while metal is ideal for such areas. You might also want a more durable roof if you deal with snow, hail, or similar weather conditions.
You might also want to consider picking a high-quality material to secure your home for years to come. It is also a great way to up curbside appeal and increases the value of your property.
Steps Involved In a Roof Replacement
While the details will vary based on things like the material used and the type of roof, there are some basic steps that will help you understand the process. It all starts with removing the shingles and ends with installation and cleanup. While this article will not go in-depth on each step, it will provide an overview so that you know what to expect.
Removal of the Old Shingles
There is actually a lot involved when removing the old roofing. While it would be nice if it could be ripped right off, measures must be taken to protect windows, siding, and other vulnerable parts of the roof and home. It is also necessary to have a large dumpster for debris, such as old shingles.
Additionally, during the removal process, a thorough inspection is to be done. The goal is to take note of anything that needs to be repaired before the new roofing goes down.
If there is any obvious damage, it takes priority. Hopefully, it is only minor repairs that can be accomplished in short order, but there is a chance of more significant damage being found. Regardless, it must be done to ensure there are no problems with the new roofing due to underlying issues.
Installing Protective Features
There are various protective features installed on a home, including an ice dam, drip edging, and underlayment.
Ice dams are not absolutely necessary, but some regions do require one. The membrane will protect the roof from the moisture that can accumulate when ice melts under shingles, which can cause serious damage.
Drip edging gets nailed into place over the ice dam and underlayment, preventing water from getting beneath the roof and causing damage to the decking.
Underlayment, such as asphalt roofing paper, is another inner barrier that works against water and moisture, stopping it from making it to the house. It can be overlapped and does not cost much to install.
Laying the Roofing Materials
Once the protective measures are in place, it is time to get the roofing materials installed. At this point, the process changes based on the material, but it will be placed until it covers the entire roof. It is common practice to start at the bottom and work toward the peak, assuming there is one.
Applying the Flashing
The final step before cleanup is flashing. Flashing prevents leaks and provides protection in various areas on the roof, including valleys, chimneys, vents, and skylights. It is sometimes installed during the roofing installation.
Cleanup and Inspection
The cleanup should be included in the pricing, and it is important if you do not want to deal with the debris yourself. Once everything is nice and tidy, you will likely need an inspector to sign off on the new roof, at which point the process is done.
How Long Will a Roof Replacement Take?
It is difficult to give an exact time period for an installation since there are many factors involved. Some of the things that can impact the time it takes to get the job done include the following:
- Will there be repairs involved?
- How will the weather be?
- What type of material are you using?
- What is the size of the roof?
- How large is the crew?
It could be a few days or a couple weeks based on the answers to the questions above. When talking to your contractor, ask for an estimate, though do not be surprised if it varies by a few days as the job progresses.
The Cost of a Roof Replacement
There is no definite answer to how much a roof replacement will cost, but the average is between $5,000 and $10,000 in America. To get a more precise estimate, you have to take many things into account, such as:
- Material costs
- Labor costs
- Permit fees
Each of those is impacted by other factors as well, such as the size of the roof. You also have to consider special features that will increase the price, including skylights, chimneys, and dormer windows. Complex jobs on less accessible roofs will cost more, and the same is true if the roof is older or has a particularly steep slope (pitch).
For example, two houses of the exact same size will have a different cost if the pitch of the roof is different. A larger house might even be less expensive due to pitch or overhang. And if the job is complex, there might be more wastage along with labor costs. Fortunately, there are some good ways to save money.
Saving Money on Your Roof Replacement
While it might seem basic, do some research and understand what you want to be done. After that, get multiple quotes to compare. Every contractor does things differently, and going with one over another might save you a significant amount. Of course, make sure you go with someone reputable.
You can also schedule the job for the off-season. There is no perfect season or time to get your roof replacement done, so if you can afford to wait, it might save you some money. The reasoning is that some contractors reduce the price when work is slow. That being said, if there is a leak or apparent damage, do not wait, as it could get worse.
You can also try to use your insurance to cover part of the replacement. Homeowners insurance might cover roof damage, though that is usually only true if it occurred due to a storm or something similar. Age or neglect will not be covered.
Something else you might consider is doing some of the work yourself. If you know what you are doing, you might be able to take care of the removal of old shingles. You can also consider doing the cleanup yourself, though do not do anything you are uncomfortable with since it could lead to serious injury.
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