If your roof is less than 15 years old and it is obvious where the leak is coming from, minor repairs will probably solve the problem. If the shingles on your home were installed 15 to 20 or more years ago, carefully inspect the condition of your roof, because the likelihood of reroofing increases with the age of the roofing materials. Note: Keep in mind that a relatively new roof might have major issues and may need to be replaced due to poor installation.
- Damaged or missing shingles: Damaged or missing shingles indicate a worn-out roof. When shingles start to curl or crack, they cannot protect your roof properly.
- Granule loss: look for shingles with major granule loss, also look for granules on your gutters and downspouts.
- Age of your roof: when purchasing a house try to find out the age of the roof and keep that in mind. Typically, a shingle or composition roof lasts anywhere from 20 to 25yrs depending on several factors, such as climate, weather conditions, surroundings, maintenance, etc. For more details see our Article: “How long does a new roof last?”
- Neighbors replacing their roofs: if you are not sure about the age of your roof, seeing your neighbors re-roofing their houses might be a good indication that yours will need to be re-roofed soon.
Below you’ll find three reasons why you should make sure your home’s roof is in good shape and what to do if it needs work.
- A good roof will protect your house: Your roof stands between the interior of your home and everything in it, including your loved ones, and the exterior world. If it’s in good shape, your roof serves as a barrier against the elements. If your roof is in poor shape, your home can get water leaks, develop mold in the roof deck and structure, and experience other issues.
- Increase the value of your home: A good roof increases your home’s aesthetics; if your roof is full of moss and algae, is missing shingles, or flashings are defective, it sends the message that your home hasn’t been properly maintained. If the roof is in good shape, a potential buyer will assume the rest of the house has been tended with care. That will result in higher prices when you sell your home.
- Improve energy efficiency: Most people don’t realize the connection between a good roof and the energy efficiency of their home. When you have a good roofing system, proper attic ventilation, and insulation, your home will experience fewer air leaks. As a result, you will see lower heating and cooling bills during the summer and winter months. If you care about comfort in your home and want to save money, then a good roof is a must.
The simple answer is YES, you absolutely can. But there are definitely a few things to consider when thinking about replacing a roof on your own. These are some of the most important things to keep in mind.
- The Risk of a fall: Professional roofers have spent so much time on roofs that they just know how to walk around, even on steep roofs, and not only move skillfully but also feel comfortable while doing so. This comes from years of experience on a roof. The average homeowner doesn’t spend any time on their roof, and even if you are comfortable with heights, navigating a roof is an entirely different animal.
- The Risk of doing a bad job: After you have considered your ability and suppressed your fear of being on a roof, you now need to consider the process of the job. Will you able to install the materials the right way?
- The Cost: While DIY homeowners could save money on labor, most likely they will end up paying higher prices for the materials. Roofing contractors have established relationships with shingle manufacturers and suppliers which allows them to get better pricing and access to a variety of different products. Also, they can get better warranties because of their experience and certifications.
Finally, doing your own roof installation is possible but not encouraged. We firmly believe that the risks outweigh the benefits. If you are handy and have some roofing knowledge, then most likely you don’t even need to read this article. But if you are considering whether you can do this, just be aware of the factors listed above.
Adding additional layers does not make a new roof any more waterproof, on the contrary, it often creates its own problems. The reason some homeowners choose to do it is to save time and money. By keeping the old shingles on, they skip the messy and labor-intensive tear-off step and they will save some money on the roof project.
Why adding additional layers is not recommended?
- Shingles are designed for flat surfaces. Asphalt shingles are meant to be installed over a plywood deck. When adding a second layer of shingles, the bumps or imperfections from the old roof will transfer to the new layer. Your roof will not look as good as when you do a full tear-off.
- Shingles add weight to your roof. Most likely, your roof structure was designed for a dead load of one layer of shingles, plus extra for snow and a safety margin. Installing new roof shingles over old doubles the weight of the roofing, so you must make sure your roof structure can handle the extra load.
- No visual inspection of roof deck. In order to thoroughly inspect the roof decking and address any potential issues with it, you need to remove the existing shingles.
- Unable to replace underlayment. The underlayment installed between the roof decking and the shingles is there to prevent water from coming in through the roof deck and into the attic. If the underlayment is old and damaged, it won’t protect your roof deck from the water that gets past the shingles.
There are a number of factors that combined determine the cost of a new roof. These factors include the roof size, the roofing material being installed, the roof slope or pitch, the number of layers of old roofing to be removed, other roofing components being installed and the roof access.
Each year, Remodeling Magazine conducts an extensive research that compares the return on investment for a wide range of home improvements. Kitchen remodels, new decks, replacement of siding and bathroom additions are among the many remodeling projects included in the survey. According to the Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report, homeowners who have a new roof installed can expect to recover an average of 63.0% of the installation cost through increased home value.
A new roof not only increases the value of your home, it can also save you money on cooling and heating bills and, of course, improve the curb appeal of your house. There is no doubt that replacing the roof of your house is a big investment and you should take the time to find a trustworthy contractor to complete the job. We advise not to sacrifice quality for price.
The first step is to know the condition of your roof. If you’re reading information about re-roofing, roofing contractors, roofers, or other related information is very likely that you know that your roof might need attention. To learn more about signs that indicate that you need a new roof, read our article: Does my roof need to be replaced?. After establishing the fact that your roof might be towards the end of its lifetime then you’ll need a professional roofer to take a look at it. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
We recommend getting 2-3 estimates from roofing companies. After you decide which roofing contractor will be doing your re-roofing project you should expect the following process:
- Sing contract, receive construction lien notices, choose shingle color and get an estimated project start date.
- Depending on the complexity of the job and the roofing contractor, materials might be delivered and staged on top of the roof a few days before the project starts.
- Prep work
- Tear off
- Inspect roof deck
- Install underlayment
- Install roof flashings and shingles
- Clean up
Now you have a general idea of the process of re-roofing your house. Contact us to take the first step, we will do everything in our power to make sure your project goes smooth from beginning to end.
Roof decking (also known as sheathing), roof underlayment, roof flashings, ventilation products and shingles are the five main components of a residential roofing system.
If you live in a development where all the houses were built within a year or so of each other and quite a few of your neighbors have been reroofing their homes, it is likely that your roof is ready for replacement. Salespeople for roofing contractors will often work an entire neighborhood, convincing potential customers that every roof in the area is worn out. You should look for signs that your roof is in bad shape and not make a decision based on your neighbors replacing their roofs.
Because of the characteristic flammability of wood, some communities now restrict or ban the installation of wood roofing shingles and shakes. Homeowner insurance rates for wood roofs are higher and insurance might not be available for a home with a wood roof. That is why many shake roofs have been replaced with asphalt shingles or other types or roofing materials.
Because of the comparatively low initial cost and ease of application, asphalt shingles (also knows as composition shingles) are by far the most common roofing material used on recently constructed or reroofed homes in the United States.
Choose a color that pairs well with the color of your house. Shingles can create contrast with your siding materials, or they can blend in with the other design features of your home. If you want to go the traditional route, stick with gray, brown, or black shingles. For a contrasting pop of color, opt for the reddish-orange shades or lighter tan colors. You can also choose to incorporate a mix of colors, like gray and black or tan and brown shingles for a staggered effect.
Samples are usually small pieces of roofing material seen at close range and indoors under artificial lighting. Your installed roof will appear in large sections, be subject to natural, outdoor lighting, and will be viewed from a distance. Also, product color batch runs vary slightly during the shingle manufacturing process.
It is highly recommended to install plywood over a deck with ship lap or tongue and grove decking. The reason is that, over time, shiplap fir wood resin dissolves, causing the boards to shrink, crack, form knot holes, and become extremely brittle. Open spaces form between the once tightly fitted shiplap boards. If the roofing underlayment is applied directly over the shiplap, it will sag into the spaces and eventually leak. When installing new asphalt composition shingles, roofing nails penetrate into the shiplap, cracking or splitting the boards and preventing a proper seal.
Roof underlayment is critical on every roofing system, it is designed to prevent rain and moisture from permeating the deck, which could result in attic leaks and wood rot. The underlayment also protects the wood from chemicals in the shingles. Heat from the sun’s rays can make shingles practically melt into the wood if there is no underlayment in between, resulting in expensive repairs. If shingles fly off your roof, your roof deck isn’t immediately exposed. The underlayment helps protect the wood until you can repair the damage.
The main function of your roof is to keep the elements out of your home. The most common element that your roof protects you from (besides the sun) is rain. Modern roofs do a great job and can last anywhere from 15 to 100 years or more depending on the roof. But every roof is subject to some weak points that are likely to leak. That’s where flashing comes in.
The most vulnerable points in any roof are joints and penetration. A joint is anywhere that two slopes meet. If your house is any shape other than a perfect rectangle, chances are that you have some valleys in your roof where slopes meet. Dormers are also a common example of a joint between different slopes. Penetrations are what they sound like, anything that requires a hole in your roof. Common penetrations are vents, chimneys, and skylights.
Anywhere that there is a joint or penetration in your roof, there is an opportunity for water to work its way through your roof and into your home. To prevent this, modern builders install flashing in these areas. Flashing is made of materials that are not easily penetrated by water. It serves to redirect water away from the joint and down into the gutters or off the roof. Without flashing, your roof would almost certainly develop leaks over time. But if you have properly installed flashing that is kept in good shape, your chances of a leak are significantly reduced.
Attic ventilation is important to keep the air flowing through your attic, rather than simply letting it sit. Ventilation essentially helps outside air pass through and out of your attic, removing excess heat and moisture from the air of your attic as it does so. Air is taken in through areas like your soffits and eaves through, and is exhausted through the roof at your ridge cap or by a roof vent. This helps create the right air balance in your attic, which plays an important role in keeping your home comfortable and extend the life of your roof.
Asphalt shingles: Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing materials in America because they’re effective in all environmental conditions. Quality varies widely. Upfront costs are low, but you should expect to replace the shingles after about 20 years.
Metal roofing: Metal roofing comes in vertical panels or shingles resembling slate, tile and shake – and lasts about 60 years. Metal excels at sloughing off heavy snow and rain, won’t burn and resists high winds. It is lightweight and can be installed over existing roofs. However, metal can be noisy during rainstorms, and may dent from hail. Cost for metal roofs is typically more than asphalt but less than concrete tiles. Corrosion also varies by material.
Slate: Slate roofing lasts more than 100 years. It won’t burn, is waterproof and resists mold and fungus. Slate is effective in wet climates but is expensive, heavy and may be easily broken when stepped on. Keep this in mind if you live in an area that experiences hail.
Clay and concrete tiles: Clay and concrete roof tiles can withstand damage from tornadoes, hurricanes or winds up to 125 miles per hour and even earthquakes, according to “A Summary of Experimental Studies on Seismic Performance of Concrete and Clay Roofing Tiles” by the University of Southern California for the Tile Roofing Institute. They are good in warm, dry climates. They may require extra support to bear their weight, and they are likely to break when walked on.
Some of the top shingle manufacturers in the United States are Malarkey Roofing, IKO, CertainTeed, Owens Corning, GAF and Pabco Roofing Products. They all offer great products and have been producing shingles for many years. Some brands are more common in certain areas of the country. Some roofing contractors have certifications with certain shingle manufacturers and can offer extended warranties, that is why the recommend specific shingles. Just like cars or other consumer products, all shingles have pros and cons.
If your roof is old enough to drink, it’s already exceeded its average lifespan. Asphalt roofs tend to last 20 years. The closer yours gets to 20, the more likely it is to fail. Rather than wait until this happens (and deal with the stress of emergency replacement), plan ahead.