5 Things to Know About the Roof Replacement Process
Your roof is important. Much more important than you know or would expect, in fact. It not only protects you from hard weather, but it keeps you dry and warm. Your roof keeps outside elements, like a fallen branch or lightning, from damaging the interior of your home and its occupants. The roof on your home keeps unwanted wildlife from entering your residence and protects your pets from the harsh elements of the seasons. On top of this, the roof generally represents about 40% of the visual exterior of a typical home and therefore plays an important role in its overall aesthetics.
With this level of protection and visual aesthetics over your head, it is imperative that your roof is in the best condition it can be. When your roof is beginning to lose shingles or you are seeing leaks in your ceiling, it’s a sign that your roof is not in a condition to properly protect your home. When this occurs, it means a roof replacement should be added to your agenda. But how do you properly prepare for the arrival of roof replacement contractors? Keep these five things in mind:
The material your roof is made of can make or break the aesthetic of your home. Color, shape, and size will all play a factor in how your roof will appear to those on the outside of your home. It also plays a large role in the amount of protection you will get and the money you will spend on its replacement. There are four common choices for a residential roof, and each of them has its own costs and average lifespan. Some are necessary due to weather risks, such as metal roofing in fire-frequent areas. But, most areas allow the homeowner the freedom to choose whichever roof they would like.
Asphalt Composition Shingles
Of the four common choices, composite asphalt shingles are the most popular. They are known for being cheap and easy to obtain, which is the origin of their popularity. They also are easy to install, and while it is encouraged to hire a roofing contractor for your roof replacement, composite asphalt shingles are doable for someone who wants to DIY their roof replacement. They typically last from 15 to 40 years, up to 50 years if taken care of properly.
Wooden shingles are a pretty, naturally sourced roofing option for your roof replacement. They are slices of wood sawn from logs of cedar or yellow pine into wedge-shaped shingles for roofing. Due to their flammable nature, certain areas that have seasonal fire warnings have forbidden their use, so avoid these if you are in a fire-frequent area. Their tricky-to-handle nature makes them an unsuitable choice for someone who prefers to do their own roofing replacement. They average a 25 to 30 year lifespan, though it can be extended if you live in an area with a mild climate.
Standing-Seam Metal Roof
An increasingly popular choice in fire-frequent areas, metal roofing is one of the more durable options. Though it can be dented, it is less likely to break down or lose a shingle, since there aren’t any. This roof is complex to install, so any metal-roofing replacements should be left to the professionals. On top of being maintenance-free, these roofs typically last 30 to 50 years, or upward of 75 under the proper circumstances.
The most expensive of all roofing materials on this list, slate is a type of stone roofing. Slate is a naturally occurring stone that cleaves into flat slabs. Due to its complex nature and pricing, slate roofing absolutely should be installed by a professional. It is not a DIY-friendly material to work with. Despite that, it is the most durable choice of roofing material, and can easily last you 100 years or longer if properly maintained. Replace broken tiles when they are seen to maximize their longevity.
Cost will vary depending on the material you choose for your roofing replacement. The size of the roof will also vary the pricing of your replacement, along with the steepness of your roof and which contractor you choose to complete the replacement. These factors will vary the price for each contractor you speak to, so make sure you discuss your options with them before choosing one to hire. Below is the average pricing for the four most common roofing materials.
- Asphalt Composition Shingles: $7,000 to $12,000
- Wood Shingles: $14,000 to $25,000
- Standing-Seam Metal Roof: $23,000 to $30,000
- Slate Roofing: $25,000 to $50,000
Depending on the pattern of the seasons in your area, you will likely have an on-season and an off-season for roofing replacement companies. Despite operating all year round, roofing companies have seasons where they are extra busy, and seasons where their workload dies down. Keeping this in mind, do a little research on your local roofing seasons to see when the off-season is. Your best chance at getting affordable roof replacement prices comes with hiring in the off-season. Due to their business slowing down, roofing companies drop prices to make their services more enticing to potential clients and customers. Hiring your roofing company in the off-season will ensure lower prices for their service. It will also mean that your service will be completed sooner, as the lack of business means they can dedicate their time solely to your roof replacement.
Certain roofing materials are known for being layerable. Instead of removing the first layer of shingles, the contractors would lay the second layer over the first and stack them to reinforce your roof’s protection abilities. This is no longer a common practice, but if this is allowed in your area and you want this process, there are a few things to consider first:
Adding additional layers of shingles will increase the weight of your roof. If this becomes too heavy for the framing of your roof, it can cause significant damage to your home and cost more money than a typical roof replacement would have. However, some materials are light enough to do this, such as asphalt. Three layers of asphalt shingles are equivalent to one layer of slate shingles.
Putting a new layer of shingles over an old one will possibly carry over old problems onto the new. Putting whole shingles over broken shingles will increase the likelihood of the broken shingles damaging the new layer. Make sure to correct any broken or damaged shingles before layering the new shingles over them.
One bonus of layering shingles is that it reduces the overall work involved with the process. This makes it a much easier process for people who are doing the work themselves, instead of hiring a team to replace the entire roof. For a team, the work will be done either way, so if you plan on hiring a team of contractors, it’s probably better to have them replace the entire roof instead.
If your roof is under warranty, you should check to see if they require the entire roof to be stripped before a new layer of shingles can be placed. Otherwise, you may lose your warranty without knowing it, and not be covered when you wish to be.
The process of roofing is complex and tricky. With certain materials, it is possible to do the entire process on your own, but some materials are too complex. Trust the professionals to get the job done for you if you want metal or slate roofing. Despite this, it is good to know the basics of the roofing process to ensure the company is doing the job properly and not skipping steps. This also ensures you know how the job is coming along without having to bother your contractors for constant updates. Below is the general roof replacement process so you know how far along the job is coming while your contractors do their work.
- Remove all of the current shingles: Before working on your roof and replacing the current shingles, your contractor will need to remove all of the current shingles to access the wooden sheathing underneath. This will allow them to properly make any repairs that are necessary before replacing the shingles to your liking.
- Repair the wood on the roof if needed: Replacing the wooden sheathing on your roof will make sure there are no leaks or holes underneath the shingles allowing the elements to enter your home. The broken or damaged wooden sheathing will be replaced with either plywood sheathing or 1 x 6 sheathing boards, depending on what your roof requires.
- Install ice protection if needed: In regions that require it, your roof replacement contractor will install a synthetic waterproof membrane to protect the wooden sheathing from getting wet due to icemelt backup during the colder months. This will help your roof last longer and keep your home from being damaged.
- Lay roofing paper over the sheathing: Another barrier from water is the asphalt roofing paper. These paper layers are overlapped to create a stronger seal against the rainwater that will land on your roof.
- Apply metal drip edging: Metal drip edging will run along each side of your roof, both the eave and gable sides. This is to control the flow of water away from the sheathing underneath the shingles and to carry it to the ground properly. It is nailed in place over the roofing paper and ice guard to keep everything secured.
- Apply new valley flashing if necessary: A valley is the point of a roof where two separate roofs meet to create a straight line. The flashing applied to this area is for the purpose of protecting the sheathing underneath. It is nailed to the roofing deck and sealed with roofing caulk.
- Apply shingles: Applying shingles is the part everyone knows about when it comes to roof replacements. Starting at the eaves, the shingles will be applied until the entire roof is covered properly and your roof looks practically complete.
- Apply flashing where leaks may be present: Flashing needs to be installed wherever they may be a leak present or a leak-likely area. These are places like against the chimney, around skylights, and near vents. These locations are crucial for flashing to be applied if you want your new roof to last the full duration of its life cycle.
- Install the ridge vent: Ridge vents are necessary for ventilation underneath and through your new roof. Without ventilation, your attic space will struggle with ice dams in the winter and gathering hot air in the summer. If ridge vents are unable to be installed on your roof, consider other types of roofing vents to avoid attic-related issues during the extreme temperatures of the season.
- Cleanup and remove debris from the premises: There will likely be a large mess if your contractors do not begin to remove debris from your property as soon as they start to make it. There will likely be some sort of dumpster on site to make the cleanup job easy for the contractors. After cleaning up, the installation process will be complete.
The process of replacing a roof can be long and arduous if done by yourself. Sometimes, it is better to leave the work to the professionals. After reading this article, make sure to consider the materials and the style you would like your roof to be through a replacement. Once you have decided what type of material you want your roof to be replaced with and you feel comfortable with the process, feel free to contact your local roofing businesses, or call Style Roofing Inc. to ensure the job is done right. A roof replacement can be a tricky thing to do on your own, so unless you have experience in the service, trust the professionals to do it right and get your roof replaced the right way.