Shopping for a new roof isn’t like shopping for a new car. You can’t just trade it in after a year or two. It’s a big investment, and one you certainly don’t want to find yourself going through again in just a few years. With the right considerations, roof placement should last for the next 20 years, maybe even 50-100 (depending on which you go with). And, if you decide to sell the house, a high-quality roof will do wonders for the value. So as you look around, here are some extra items to consider:
Timing Is Everything
Putting on a new roof can get loud. You should know that the work starts early in the morning and can last a day or two, sometimes a week depending on the job. If anyone in the house isn’t well or is dealing with stress, you might want to wait a bit. Then again, if your problem is immediate (like a leak), you could always use earplugs.
How Old Is Your Roof?
You don’t want to wait for problems to show themselves. It’s like waiting until your car breaks down to decide to change the oil. Most roofs last about 20 years, including asphalt and shingles. Metal and slate roofs last 50 years or more. Check if your roof is older than these timeframes. If so, it’s a good idea to replace it.
Does It Really Need Replacing?
Instead of replacing the whole roof, contractors can add a second layer of asphalt shingles over the original one. This saves some money, as well as a mess. The downside is that the contractor can’t inspect the decking and flash underneath. You also miss an opportunity to install an ice and water shield, useful materials for living in a wet or icy climate.
Deciding on Material
You might be surprised at the wide range of roofing materials available, much more than the standard composite or asphalt shingles. Metal roofs are gaining in popularity and can have a variety of looks. You can also choose from wood shakes, rubber for a faux slate look, copper, and real slate. Do your research on durability, pros and cons and pricing for specific materials. This needs to be a thorough decision. Check with an experienced roofer to find out what he recommends for your situation.
Consider Local Environmental Conditions
Local conditions have a significant influence on the material you choose. For example, if your area gets a lot of sun, the material needs to resist deterioration from UV rays. If you get lots of snow and ice, you will need to be sure your gutter and downspout system is adequate. Research local factors that affect the type of roof material. When you speak with a roofing contractor, be sure to talk about weather conditions.
The Importance of Ventilation and Insulation
Verify that the contractor understands your home’s need for proper ventilation. Ask them to identify the location of soffits, ridge vents, and louvers so you can ensure that they aren’t blocked by the roofing work. This is also an ideal time to figure out if your attic insulation is adequate. It goes hand in hand with ventilation, which prevents heat and moisture buildup. This affects the whole infrastructure of your home.
Ask Friend for References
It’s best to deal with an experienced contractor who has been doing business in the local community for many years. Word of mouth works best, so ask for references from friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
And, make sure your roofer is listed with the Better Business Bureau. This filters out the fly-by-night, cash-only roofing companies. It’s also helpful to read reviews on sites like Yelp, Google+ and Angie’s List.
Get a Written Estimate and Warranty
Beyond a written estimate, be sure to write down any verbal promises. Work with a contractor who offers a long-term guarantee, in writing. Most contractors will provide this. And, most importantly, don’t base your decision strictly on price. You want reliability, not just affordability. A few extra dollars can save you plenty more in the future.
Pay When You’re Happy with the Work
The standard upfront payment is usually 10% to one-third of the total cost. Always pay by check or credit card (never cash!). Before you pay the final installment, check the work thoroughly.
One more note: after a new roof, you can have thousands of nails scattered around. Before you finish paying, ask the contractor to use his device to clean up the area (if he doesn’t offer to do so already). Most reliable roofers will have an industrial-size magnet on wheels that scoops everything right up.
Roof replacement: One job that you cannot “DIY”
Roof replacement should always be completed by experienced roofing professionals. Improper roof replacements can lead to leaking and expensive water damage – not only to the underlayer of the roof but to the inside of your home as well.
In addition, roofing work has other risks that can be hazardous. Electrical wiring could be bumped and cause injury or death, and depending on the angle and height of the roof, a simple misstep is all it takes to send you over the edge.
If you need to have a roof replacement or repair, our experienced team is happy to take a look at the roof and provide you with an estimate.
Contact us at Platinum Roofing to hear what is needed and how quickly it can be completed. The longer you wait to get it repaired or replaced, the more potential you have for extensive damage to occur.