Reasons For Roof Replacement
Roofing terminology can be confusing because most homeowners may only have to replace one roof during their entire home-owning lifetimes. Learning about the roof replacement process will help you through this once-in-a-lifetime decision.
What is the difference between roof replacement and re-roofing?
A roof replacement involves removing the roof covering (shingles, metal sheets, tiles, etc.) and addressing the damage done to the roof substrate. This may mean replacing the plywood where it has deteriorated or has gotten wet, replacing the ice and water shield or the felt paper.
Once the substrate issues have been rectified, a new roof covering is applied.
Reroofing is the process of replacing of the roof covering itself.
A roof recover is when an additional layer of roof covering is installed over an existing roof covering.
How do you know when it’s time to replace your roof?
There are twelve tell-tale signs that your roof needs replacing. The presence of one or more of these problems means that roof failure is present or imminent.
- Wind Storm Damage
The problem with a wind-damaged roof is that the exposed portions on the roof, especially if the shingles have been lifted, might be difficult to identify. Winds may have compromised the sealant and potentially the nail on a raised shingle, necessitating the roof’s replacement.
- You are Selling Your House and the Roof is Old or Needs Extensive Repairs
A new roof can increase the value of your home. You may recover from 2/3 to 3/4 of the cost of the roof in your sales price.
However, it’s the downside of not having a good roof that will negatively impact your home sale that is the bigger concern. Lenders may not be willing to underwrite a mortgage for your buyer if the roof is in poor shape. You’ll have to either replace the roof or accept a much lower offer that the bank is willing to lend against.
A new roof can be a selling feature in a competitive market. Today’s roofing is more energy efficient and will help lower utility bills. A buyer will appreciate the transferable warranty as well as the improved curb appeal a new roof offers.
- Roof Material Deterioration
Sometimes you have to get up on a roof to see its true condition which is hard to tell from the ground. Signs such as missing granules, cracking shingles and exposed nails are indications of roofing failure. These occur due to the roof’s age and are evidence of a roof that is reaching its end-of-life.
- Planned Addition or Remodeling
If you are contemplating a major remodeling or a new addition to your home, a new roof might be in order. Especially if the roof is older and faded, matching shingles or other types of roof coverings will be difficult. It is usually better to roof the entire structure, old and new, at the same time with the same material to avoid a mismatched, unattractive roof.
- Premature Roof Failure
If your roof was installed incorrectly, you may be experiencing a roof failure many years before the roof should have been replaced. This can also happen if poor quality shingles or other roofing materials were used by the installer.
A roof is engineered to prevent leaking if it is installed correctly with the proper materials. Leaks do happen, however, and may be due to storms, material failure or damage. A leaky roof will eventually affect the interior of your home and can cause mold and respiratory problems for the home’s inhabitants. If the damage is extensive, a roof replacement is the best course of action to remedy the problem.
- Flashing Failure
Where two different roof materials meet, or where two planes of a roof meet, you’ll find roof flashings. When roof flashings fail, they leak. If they leak, the roof underlayment becomes compromised and the leaks will eventually find their way indoors. If this happens in enough places on a roof, the best course of action is to start over and replace the entire roof. It is hard to underestimate the importance of a good flashing installation on a roof. It can be one of the weakest links in a roofing system.
- Sagging Roofs
A roof that sags has a compromised structure and needs to be completely replaced. This may have been caused by storm damage, an under-engineered structure for the amount of weight on the roof, or rotting underlayment.
- Moss Infested Roof
When a roof becomes covered in moss, there is a moisture problem. Moss grows where there is an adequate water supply to support its growth. A small roof leak that overspreads the roofing underlayment provides a moist growing medium for moss. When the problem is this bad, the cure is to remove the roof, replace the wet underlayment, and install a new roof covering.
Hail can cause serious damage to roofing materials and can compromise the weather-proofing that a good roof covering has built into it. Hail can puncture the roofing membrane and this will eventually start to leak. After a storm, it’s best to have a roof inspector or your insurance company examine your roof for signs of hail damage.
- Vent Issues
Venting is a staple of most roofs. When vent boots are inadequately installed, leaks can occur. If this happens to enough vents on your roof, it is time for a roof replacement.
- Algae Growth
A particular type of algae, gloeocapsa magma, grows on the surface of asphalt shingles and feeds off the limestone that is part of the composition of the shingle. Roofs infested with this specie of algae have characteristic black streaks on them. If the algae is left to overspread the roof, it will eventually eat away at the shingles and compromise them, leading to leaks and roof failure. When this happens, the roof needs to be replaced.
What are the factors that affect the cost of a roof replacement?
Time and materials are the two biggest costs in a roof replacement project. The amount of time the roof takes depends on the size and complexity of the roof, how steep it is and how accessible it is. Time impacts labor costs, the more time, the more labor is required.
How much time it takes to remove the old roof and make improvements or replace the roof decking is another labor line-item that will affect the cost of the roof replacement.
The roofing materials you choose to replace your roof with are another large component of the total cost of roof replacement.
Dumpster costs to haul away removed roofing materials can also add significantly to the cost of the roof replacement.
What criteria should I use to compare roof replacement quotes?
Price, while important, should not be the deciding factor when it comes to evaluating the merits of different roofing quotes.
The watch-word for comparing roofing quotes is quality. You don’t want to cut corners on materials or labor, if you do, it will ultimately lead to roof leaks.
As you look at the different roofing quotes, make sure the shingle or covering qualities are comparable from roofing bid to roofing bid. Make sure that the project will include crucial roofing materials such as a drip edge or adequate underlayment. These are easy to compare – and the presence, or absense, of these elements makes accepting or rejecting a particular bid cut and dry.
Cheap labor means that your roof may not be installed correctly. You certainly want every bit of life you can get out of a new roof and having to replace it prematurely, is an expensive mistake you want to avoid.