Are You In The Market For A New Roof?
Shopping for a new roof isn’t like shopping for a new car. You can’t just trade it in after a year or two. A roof replacement is a big investment, and one you certainly don’t want to find yourself going through again in just a few years. With the right considerations, you can be set for the next 20 years, maybe even 50-100 (depending on which material you go with).
How Old Is Your Roof?
You don’t want to wait for problems to show themselves. It’s like waiting until your car breaks down to decide to change the oil. Most roofs last about 20 years, including asphalt and shingles. Metal and slate roofs last 50 years or more. Check if your roof is older than these time frames. If so, it’s a good idea to replace it.
Does Roofing Really Need Replacing?
Instead of replacing the whole roof, contractors can add a second layer of asphalt shingles over the original one. This saves some money, as well as a mess. The downside is that the contractor can’t inspect the decking and flash underneath. You also miss an opportunity to install an ice and water shield, useful materials for living in a wet or icy climate.
Deciding on Roofing Material
You might be surprised at the wide range of roofing materials available, much more than the standard composite or asphalt shingles. Metal roofs are gaining in popularity and can have a variety of looks. You can also choose from wood shakes, rubber for a faux slate look, copper, and real slate. Check with an experienced roofer to find out what he recommends for your situation.
Consider Local Environmental Conditions When Choosing Roofing Materials
Local conditions have a significant influence on the material you choose. For example, if your area gets lots of sun, the material needs to resist deterioration from UV rays. If you get lots of snow and ice, you will need to be sure your gutter and downspout system are capable.
Research local factors that affect the type of roof material. When you speak with a roofing contractor, be sure to talk about weather conditions.
The Importance of Roof Ventilation and Insulation
Verify that the contractor understands your home’s need for proper ventilation. Ask them to identify the location of soffits, ridge vents, and louvers so you can ensure that they aren’t blocked by the roofing work.
This is also an ideal time to figure out if your attic insulation is adequate. It goes hand in hand with ventilation, which prevents heat and moisture buildup. This affects the whole infrastructure of your home.
Ask for Roofing References
It’s best to deal with an experienced contractor who has been doing business in the local community for many years. Word of mouth works best, so ask for references from friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
Check Roofing Contractor Credentials
Proper documentation is critical, especially for insurance and legal reasons. Make sure the roofer shows you proof of insurance and that he is licensed, bonded and insured. Check about manufacturer’s certification, which indicates a higher level of expertise and training. If your area requires a building permit, see that the contractor has one.
Get a Written Estimate and Roof Warranty
Beyond a written estimate, be sure to write down any verbal promises. Work with a contractor who offers a long-term guarantee, in writing. Most contractors will provide this. And, most importantly, don’t base your decision strictly on price. You want reliability, not just affordability. A few extra dollars can save you plenty more in the future.
Roofing Payment and Terms
The industry standard, upfront payment is usually 10% to one-third of the total cost. Always pay by check or credit card (never cash!). Before you pay the final installment, check the work thoroughly.
Roof Replacement: One Job That You Should Not Attempt Yourself
Roof replacement should always be completed by an experienced roofing professional. Improper roof replacements can lead to leaking and expensive water damage – not only to the underlayer of the roof but to the inside of your home as well.
In addition, roofing work has other risks that can be hazardous. Electrical wiring could be bumped and cause injury or death and depending on the angle and height of the roof, a simple misstep is all it takes to send you over the edge.
If you need to have a roof replacement or repair, our experienced team is happy to look at the roof and provide you with an estimate.