A new roof is one investment that has both functional and enhancing features that most every homeowner is looking for today. A roof is something that not only protects your home from the outside elements but also affects the way your home looks and adds curb appeal to future buyers.
So, what should you be looking for in a homeowner’s guide? You could replace an old roof, re-roof what’s there, add a layer of roofing or even do larger patches. The following homeowner’s guide explains more in details.
Signs You Need a New Roof
In order to protect your home from the elements, here are some signs that your roof may need repairs or replacement.
Visibly Worn Shingles – Shingles that shed granules and appear to have bald spots are early indicators for replacement. Even though the shingles may still keep moisture out, any missing granules can add to an excessive buildup of heat within a home, which can raise a home’s temperature and air conditioning bills. When shingles are exposed and bare, any underlying asphalt can crack and dry out, which makes a roof vulnerable to leaks and other damage.
Curled and Cupped Shingles – With curled and cupped shingles, any moisture or water can get underneath the shingles and within the roof deck, which can cause both leaks and rot.
Cracked Shingles – When shingles show signs of cracks, any of those cracked areas aren’t taking moisture and rainwater away from the underneath roof decking. You face the chance of leaks and resulting water damage.
Multiple Leaks – Your roof comprises more than shingles. It’s an entire system that includes underlayment, flashing, moisture restraints in roof valleys, starter shingles or starter strips, vent boots, and other features that are part of a roof’s structure. When any of these features deteriorate or fail, a homeowner should seriously think about roof replacement.
Major Roof Damage – If your roof is in disrepair because of wind, hail, or other weather-related damage, you may need to replace the entire roof. It may be more cost-effective to replace a roof rather than put new shingles into an existing roof in the areas where damage has occurred.
Unsightly Roof – When a roof shows wear, and permanent stains, it’s difficult to clean it. Why not improve its appearance with an added additional layer of shingles? The difference will be noticeable to you as a homeowner and to any prospective buyers.
If you’re unsure whether any of these roof features match what your roof is experiencing, bring in a roofing contractor to inspect and evaluate your roof’s current condition. It’s best to find out what’s happening to your roof before your roof fails and the expenses mount.
How Long Should a Roof Last?
How long a roof should last depends on the climate in your area and the roofing materials you use. When you’re in an area where there are months of bad weather, like hurricanes, tornadoes, heavy winds, hail, snow and a constant barrage of sun, you may have difficulties maintaining your roof; whereas, if you’re in a more moderate climate, your roof will obviously last longer.
Roofing materials also affect how long a roof will last. A metal, slate, or tile roof can often last up to 50 years. Wood (shakes) and shingles made from fiber cement last anywhere from 25 to 30 years, and composite or asphalt roofs can last from 15 to 20 years. The average longevity with composite materials and architectural asphalt is around 30 years.
Considerations For Roof Deck Repairs
With roof deck repairs, you need to first consider what could cause damage with a roof deck such as shingles that are missing, curling or buckling shingles, shingles with granular pattern wearing, roof holes, signs of mold or mildew in an attic area, and visible roof sagging.
If the deck area has rotted, you’re better off replacing the roof deck rather than attempting repair, which means you should not delay roof deck replacement as it can further damage your roof and home. Once you detect a problem with roof decking, you want to repair or replace it as soon as possible as the eventual costs could be high.
What to Know About Underlayment
Roofing underlayment is the water-resistant barrier that’s placed underneath other roofing materials. It acts as an added layer of protection against the elements like air, wind, and snow.
Underlayment gives additional protection to your shingles as it provides a layer of shingles to rest on. You won’t see any of the texture from the wooden decking as the layering aspect of the underlayment prevents it. Your roof gets another protective layer that supports the roof’s shingles. Both the underlayment and shingles become a line of resistance against the harshness of weather, plus they diffuse the sun’s rays, withstand wind, hinder moisture and any other severe weather.
When shingles lack the right amount of sealant, heavy winds can lift them from a roof. That makes shingles prone to being torn away by wind-driven rain and they also become brittle with age. When shingles fail, underlayment is the substitute backup.
Understanding the Roofing Process
Like anything else construction-related, the roofing process has guidelines or steps to follow. Here are the most important of those steps.
Select a Good Roofing Contractor
You want a contractor who has the skills and necessary experience to install a roof correctly and make it a long-lasting and effective installation.
- Do Your Research – Ask those in the know about a good roofing contractor. Also, find a contractor with excellent reviews, on and offline, and has high recommendations. Look for consistent reviews online.
- Clear Communicator – A good contractor will get you through the process and apprise you of the steps in a new roof installation. They will continually follow up with the ongoing work and steps involved. Talk with anyone from the company and see how they deal with your questions.
- Professional – Make sure that the contractor carries a current license and has adequate insurance as worker’s compensation or liability insurance. You want quality work up to current standards. You don’t want to end up paying for any injuries that occur on your property.
Besides choosing a good contractor, you want to choose materials that coordinate with your home and are structurally adequate for the region where you live. You want materials that give your home the right look but also work with the climate of your area. Here are some of the more common materials in use today.
Asphalt – You can select asphalt composition as they are the most common and affordable. They’re not the most attractive choice, but they do bring a new look to your roof.
Wood Shakes – These shingles are nice to look at and are durable, but they can be costly. Most contractors don’t recommend wood shakes for fire-prone areas. If you’re not in a forested or area where fires occur, wood shakes are a workable option.
Metal – This type of roofing is durable and fireproof and it is available in several styles that mimic other roofing materials. You’ll want to find a contractor that deals in metal roofing and realize that you may pay more for installation.
Slate – If you’re looking for an eye appealing roof covering, slate is a material to consider. It can be a costly choice as slate is heavy and repairs can be difficult.
Composition Slate – The material is more affordable in this type of slate. It’s an alternative that’s made from materials that are recyclable. It looks like slate, though it’s lighter and won’t experience damage.
Tile – Manufacturers make tile roofing in clay or ceramic forms. It’s popular, nice to look at and is available almost anywhere. It’s fire-resistant but adds a lot of weight to a roof. There are other choices that are lighter and just as appealing.
Removing the Old Roof
Usually, the removal of old shingles takes place before the installation of new materials. In other cases, they install any new roofing over the old material, which is usually metal roofing over one layer of asphalt shingles. Removing an old roof is not just to make room for the new roof. It’s also done so a roofing contractor can inspect the wood decking underneath the roof.
Removing an old roof isn’t the simple task that it seems. The right equipment, labor, and a large dumpster are necessary just to get rid of the old materials. There are also tarps that workers can use to protect the area and make any debris clean up easier. You may also have plywood placement on windows and doors to avoid any damage there. Also, consider the timing for removing an old roof. Only remove it when you have the new materials on site for installation.
Safety is always a concern when removing an old roof. Any roof technicians should have the ropes, safety belts, adequate ladders, correct footwear, and other gear to prevent serious falls.
Wood Decking Inspection
Any wood decking should go through an inspection process to make sure there is no damage to it from bad weather, moisture collection, rotting wood, or other issues. It’s important for an inspection to occur for any repairs or replacement or to make sure the decking is in safe condition so any new roofing will be secure.
Preparing The Roof Surface
There may be additional steps in the process to prepare a roof’s surface for new shingles. That may include:
Drip Edge Installation – You put metal edging on the edges of a roof to keep moisture from getting under the edges and damaging any decking material.
Underlayment Installation – Underlayment is a waterproofing material that goes between the wood decking and roofing materials. It prevents any moisture from getting into the wood decking or water from rain or ice seeping into the wood decking and causing damage to the roof’s surface.
Installing New Roofing Materials
This is one of the last steps in the roofing process where new roofing materials are installed on the roof’s surface. Installation time will depend on the materials that are used. More costly materials such as slate will take longer than regular asphalt materials.
Debris cleanup and Inspection
Once the installation is complete, the roofing crew will clean up any leftover debris from the installation to make sure that the area in and around the home is clean. Your roofing contractor will complete a last inspection of the roof and will make sure that the installation went smoothly and that the inspection of the roofing materials was flawless.
When a contractor has assuranced that a new roof meets standards of quality and reliability, the roofing job is finally complete. The homeowner can be confident in the knowledge that their new roof will give them the protection they need for a long time.
If you’re a homeowner and in need of a new roof or major roof repairs, you’ll want guidelines to follow. The steps given here are adequate, but you may still have concerns about the process. Speak with representatives from RGB Construction. We’re a veteran-owned business with expert technicians with the knowledge, skill, and experience to install your roof professionally. Our motto is “we treat your home as if it was our own.” Call us at 856-264-9093. You’ll be glad you did.