1) How can a homeowner recognize when a roof system has problems?
Many different kinds of damages that can compromise a roof system. It can be hard to know where to begin to look and, often, homeowners aren’t really sure what they are looking for. That’s why it is a smart investment to hire a roofing professional to perform a roof inspection periodically (at least once a year). He will know what kinds of damage to look for and where to look for them.
If, however, you feel comfortable performing a roof inspection on your own, then take a look at the posts we recently wrote about the common signs you need a new roof OR take a look at our roof inspection checklist.
2) What are my options if I decide to reroof?
You have 2 options: a) a full roof replacement OR b) a re-cover of the existing roof system.
A complete roof replacement requires that your entire existing roof system be redone. This involves a “tearoff” of your existing system and is a full-blown roofing process. Cost depends on the type of shingle, style and warranty/durability you choose. Talk to your local roofing professionals to get advice on what best suits your needs and your budget.
A re-cover of your roof system is the less demanding option. This process involves only the installation of the new roof system, meaning that it is a far more expedient and cost-friendly re-roofing option. However, building code requirements do not always allow for multiple re-roofs so if you’ve done this more than once before, then you may need a complete roof replacement. Talk to your local roofing professionals to ask about local building code requirements.
3) My Roof Leaks. Do I Need To Have It Replaced Completely?
A leaking roof is a bad thing. However, it doesn’t necessarily warrant a complete roof replacement. How much repair and work needs to be done on your roof depends on the level of damage caused by leaking. Talking to a professional is the best way to know whether only minor repair OR a full roof replacement is necessary.
There are many problems that can lead to roof leaking, which is why it’s important to inspect your roof periodically and check for common warning signs. You can perform this inspection yourself, but it is a good idea to hire a professional at least once a year to check for any serious roof problems.
4) Can I Do The Work Myself?
It depends. If you are someone who is generally successful with DIY home improvement projects, then you may have the ability to take on a project of this magnitude and importance (for your home’s health).
However, if you are someone who is generally NOT successful with DIY home improvement projects, then this is definitely not the time to be bold and “give it a shot.”
Your roof is vital to the health of your home’s structure and internal condition. To botch repairs or wing a full replacement can lead to serious damages. Even more, you will end up spending both the time and money in performing the DIY roof project and then spend more time and money later on when you need to hire a professional to do it right.
5) How Long Can I Expect My Roof System To Last?
20 Years. That is the life expectancy of the average roof system.
The life span of a roof system is determine by a number of factors, like: roof system design, building structure, material quality, material suitability, proper installation, periodic maintenance, local climate, and much more. Material quality is especially important because some roof system types such as clay tile, slate and (certain) metal can last longer.
When choosing the materials for a new roof (or when hiring a professional, make sure to check the warranties on the materials. Most roofing manufacturers offer warranties on their products and you should be wary of any manufacturer that doesn’t.
6) How do I know what type of roofing shingle is best for my roof and my budget?
A) The first thing to consider when evaluating the cost of your roofing project is to determine whether you will need a complete roof replacement OR a re-cover of your roof. The former is a far larger roof project and thus more expensive, while the letter is a smaller project and therefore less expensive.
B) The next question to consider is what material you will use. Roofing materials range in aesthetic appeal, durability and cost. Shingles, for example, are an inexpensive roofing solution, while high-end slate will cost a pretty penny. Do your research on what fits your aesthetic appeal (you’re going to be living with this roof for a long time) and then determine if it is within your budget range. (Here’s a resource to get you started).
C) Finally, you’ll want to consider your houses architectural style. The more “valleys,” angles and “hard-to-get” spots you have, the more your roof project will cost.
7) What will a new roof system cost?
The cost of a new roof system depends upon the size of the project, the materials involved, the architectural style of your house, market costs, and the roofing contractor you hire.
Typical costs for a new roof system are, on average, about $6,500 to install a new roof.
8) And what if my new roof leaks? Then what?
Roof leaks are actually a common occurrence so don’t call your roofing contractor yelling at him or consider your leaking roof as a personal attack on you.
Instead, call your roofing contractor and clearly explain the problem. There is no need to exaggerate the leak and, again, it is important to calmly and clearly explain your situation. If you made the right decisions in hiring a professional roofing contractor then you can expect the leak to be fixed.
Roofing contractors often provide warranties on their projects and, even if they don’t, most care enough about their reputation to amend the situation and make sure your roof is healthy.
Remain calm, call your roofing contractor, clearly explain the problem and set a timeline for results.