Like most homeowners, you probably don’t worry about replacing your roof too often. But even the sturdiest roof wears over time. Soon enough, you may see leaks springing up in odd corners, paving the way for mold and rot.
Some warning signs that indicate its time to replace your roof include:
- Water damage in the upper floors or attic
- Mold and mildew outbreaks
- Curled or buckled shingles
- Missing shingles, gutter guards, fascia, or flashing
- Reduced energy-efficiency
- Roof issues that are beyond repair
A good, well-maintained roof is crucial to keeping your loved ones safe and sound. That’s why you should replace a damaged or worn-out roof without delay. But first, you must understand everything that goes into roof replacement.
Let’s look at the eight things you need to weigh when deciding on a new roof.
1. Check Out the Look You Want
Before comparing quotes from different contractors, you should determine your ideal roof style. Do you wish to blend in with a sober palette? Or do you want your home to be the talk of the neighborhood? Your final roofing choices may differ based on the look you have in mind.
Consider selecting an appropriate color scheme for your roof tiles. In this regard, remember that neutral colors are timeless and elegant, while trendy color combinations can help your home stand out. Also, dark colors make homes look smaller, and brighter tones have an enlarging effect.
2. Choose the Right Roofing Material
It’s safe to say that roofing materials can make or break your roof repair or replacement project. And, although asphalt and slate shingles have ruled the market for decades, there are several other modern alternatives out there. For example, metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular, owing to their durability, eco-friendliness, versatility, and energy efficiency.
Regardless of which roofing material you pick, try and gauge the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Never go in blind. If you’re still confused, do not hesitate to hire an expert for help. A specialist will analyze your roofing requirements and help you make an informed purchase decision.
3. Keep Quality Front and Center
Given that very few people budget for a roof replacement, you may feel tempted to skimp wherever possible to save some precious cash. But this can lead to devastating consequences.
In roofing, you get what you pay for. Although low contractor quotes and cheap materials are appealing, you must treat them with caution. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck with a botched roof job for the next twenty years.
It’s always worthwhile to invest in quality materials and experienced roofing contractors. Not only will this get the job done quicker, but also ensure optimal, long-lasting results.
4. Hire A Professional for the Job
Generally, DIY roof replacements end badly. Without the proper tools, safety gear, and experience, you’re more likely to hurt yourself and inflict serious damage on your home. Instead, consider hiring a professional roofing company to handle the project.
To choose a contractor, start by asking around for referrals. You can also check online resources like Better Business Bureau, among others. Once a company catches your eye, be sure to run a background check. Browse neutral review platforms to see what their previous clients have to say. This will help you gauge their service quality and performance.
5. Check Your Roof Frame
As the name implies, a roof frame supports your roof. Its primary purpose is to provide a foundation for a strong roofing system that can withstand weather damage.
Even if you haven’t had any problems with your roof in the past, you must inspect your roof frame right out the gate. In case you notice any signs of decay, breakage, or deterioration, change it right away. Do not install a new roof on top of a withered roof frame, as this may lead to further problems down the line.
6. Consider Your Budget
Expensive roof replacements can derail your finances for good. To prevent this, you must set up a budget and stick to it. Here’s how.
- Start by developing an outline based on the roof’s size, pitch, structure, permits, and contractor fees
- Always set some money aside for unexpected events
- Opt for a reliable contractor whose services seem to fit their quote
- Ask for a written estimate before committing to a roofing company
7. Mind the Warranties
Roof replacements are significant investments, which is why you may want to hold on to the warranty protecting it. Generally speaking, standard roofs come with a 20-year warranty, but this may vary based on your choice of roofing material.
The three most important roof warranties you should know about are:
- Material warranties
- Material and workmanship warranties
- Full-system warranties that protect the entire roofing system and its components
It’s always a good idea to read these warranties in detail. What are the restrictive provisions, exclusions, and terms of coverage? Are leaks covered? Does the warranty clearly define the terms included?
Additionally, if your warranty excludes certain provisions that apply to you (such as hail and wind damage), inquire about additional coverage. For example, homeowners living in windy areas can seek add-ons to their existing warranty.
8. Think About Future Repairs
One reason why you should invest in quality materials is to minimize future repairs. Cheaper roofing materials are easy on the pocket but may give away quicker than expected. On the other hand, expensive materials are typically more resilient and can weather a great degree of natural damage. So, think about how you want to maintain your roof before making your final decision.
The Bottom Line
All things considered, a roof replacement is no child’s play. Between material choices and labor costs, there’s a lot to think about. Hopefully, this list will help you figure out what you need and find the right contractors for the job.
Sarah is Communications Coordinator for William C. Rott & Son – one of the longest family-owned roofing companies in WNY that specializes in offering full-service roofing & remodeling services.