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Things to Consider When Replacing a Roof

A close look at a brick house's gray roof with a chimney.

It goes without saying, but a new roof is sometimes needed (no matter if you have a commercial or residential property) for various reasons.

Perhaps you purchased an older home with a roof that hasn’t been replaced in a few decades; or maybe the building you own went through a severe thunderstorm, causing irreparable roof damage. Whatever the case, it’s important to understand everything that goes into roof replacement before making the decision.

After all, many property owners think they can simply repair their roof, when, in fact, replacement is needed. Luckily, we’ll be diving into the entire roof replacement process and help you figure out if you even need a new roof in the first place.

Related: How Much Does a Roof Cost | Types of Roof Shingles | DIY Roof Repair | Types of Roof Vents | Parts of a Roof Gutter | How Long Do Roofs Last?

Signs You May Need a New Roof

You do not want to just jump into a roof renovation without making sure that it is an absolute necessity for your home. Below are a few things to take into consideration when determining if you need a new roof:

  • The roof is 20-25 years old (or older)
  • There are water leaks in the roof
  • There is visible damage or cracks to the shingles
  • There is a sag in the roof
  • Mold has made its way into the structure
  • Moss has started growing on top of the roof

If you have also seen a recent spike in the price of your electricity and air conditioning bills, this could be another sign that your roof needs replaced. There could be leaks that are causing the roof to not be as energy efficient as it should.

What to Consider Before Getting a New Roof

If any of the above signs describes the current status of your roof, then it is most likely time for you to think about replacing your roof with a new one.

Whether you need to replace a residential or commercial roof, oftentimes, people are not sure where to begin in the replacement process. If this applies to you, continue reading and begin by taking these first two factors into consideration:

A close look at the black tiles of a roof being installed.

1. Think About The Material You Want/Need

The first thing you will want to consider is what material will best suit your needs when replacing your roof.

Over the past several decades, the materials and technology behind the materials of roofs have drastically improved. There are current techniques and material options that were not available back when your home was originally built.

Two of the most common, and traditional, materials for shingles are asphalt and slate. However, metal roofs have been gaining in popularity and the options for metal materials have grown to include a wide range of choices and styles. One of the main benefits of metal roofing is its durability and how energy efficient it is.

Make sure you take your time and do plenty of research on roofing options before moving ahead with your renovation.

An aerial view of a group of workers repairing the roof of a house.

2. Prepare For Noise

One thing to keep in mind, and there is, unfortunately, nothing that you can do to change this fact, is that the noise levels at your house will be extremely loud during the renovation process.

If you are replacing the roof of a commercial building, you will want to inform either your employees or building tenants that there will be roof construction happening and when it will be occurring.

This will allow them to plan their business accordingly to avoid any last-minute inconveniences. If you are replacing the room of your house, you can easily avoid being in your home when the roof is being worked on to avoid the loud noises.

If you have a baby or children, you might want to consider going to a friend or family member’s house in order to allow the children to adhere to their normal schedule and naps.

3. Don’t Settle For The First Contractor You Find

Before you make any final decisions on a roofing contractor, you should do your research and not just hire someone at random. Ask around for references, look at reviews online, and check around a few different places to ask for estimates. Then make your final decision based on all this information.

Another thing you will want to do, which is extremely simple, is to verify both their licenses and insurance. This way, you know you have a credible contractor working on your roof, and won’t have any unfortunate situations arise from your roof being done by someone who is not experienced.

4. Quality Should Always Trump Price

It is natural to want to go with the option that is cheapest; after all, replacing a roof can be quite expensive. A lot of times, replacing a roof is an unexpected repair that people may not currently have money for in their budgets.

A roof is one of the most fundamental features of a house, so going with the cheapest option doesn’t mean it’s the best option. As the old saying goes, you get what you paid for.

It is worth remembering that a roof renovation is an investment; you want this to last your house 20-25 years. Make sure you are investing in quality – that goes for both the contractor and the materials.

When you are undertaking a home repair as large as a roof renovation, you want to make sure you are going to have an end result that will last for years to come.

5. Ask About The Contractor’s Roof Removal Process

A close look at a man installing shingles on the roof.

Another thing you will want to consider when looking for a roofing contractor is whether or not they offer roof removal services. Make sure you specifically ask them to get rid of your old roof, not just place the new shingles or roofing material over the old stuff.

It is best practice to go ahead and remove the old roofing material before having the roof installed. The reason for this is when you take off the old roof, you are able to see if there are any rotted or soft spots of wood that should be replaced to prevent future damage to your brand new roof.

Just covering the whole roof with a brand new roof and not addressing any of the existing issues is merely putting a band-aid on the roof at best. It will not be a long term solution to the problem.

6. See How They Plan to Get Rid of The Roof Refuse

One last thing you will want to discuss with a roofer ahead of time is what service they offer in terms of getting rid of the refuse from your old roof. More often than not, they will bring a large dumpster or trash bin with them to store all of the old roofing refuse in.

If this does happen to be the route they take, you’ll want to discuss two things with them ahead of time. First, check to see where they plan on storing the trash bin on your property or street. Second, see what their policy is in case they cause any damage to your property where the trash bin is being stored.

7. Read & Comprehend Any Paperwork The Contractor Wants You to Sign

The final, but most important thing, you will need to do before moving ahead and agree to work with any contractor, is to read through the written contract carefully.

You will want to make sure it includes the specific details you verbally agreed upon, such as the materials being used, price, timeline, etc. If you see something that is not as previously stated and agreed upon, make sure you get it changed before you sign the contract and finalize the deal.

One other major thing you will want to check on is that your contractor is abiding by the building codes for where you live. They will need to have the proper permits and letters from the proper officials stating the work they are doing on your home abides by the local codes and is covered by your contractor’s insurance provider, as well.