Residential Roofing: Your Guide to Roof Replacements

For many homeowners, residential roofing is a confusing area. Check out our guide to roof replacements for the answers to all your questions.

You might consider yourself handy with tools and home improvement projects, but some of them will simply be out of your means or expertise.

Sure, you can tighten some faucets or paint your home’s exterior. Hopefully, though, you are realistic enough to seek a professional team when tackling something more involved and substantial, such as the replacement of your residential roofing.

There are many things to consider for such a major project, so you want to make sure you are responsibly informed. The basic knowledge you’ll need when it comes to roofing replacement is outlined below.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

It’s common for homeowners to prolong the life of their roof as much as possible as it ages, but there is a limit. Though it depends on the material, most residential roofing is only good for about 20-25 years. If your current roof gets to be about 30 years old, it’s definitely time to start the process of replacing it.

Sometimes the knee-jerk reaction of homeowners is to save cost by simply repairing the existing roof. While repairing the roof makes sense for the first decade or two of a roof’s lifetime, repair costs only increase as the roof gets older and less stable.

There are other factors that contribute to the decision to replace it, too. The job of your roof is to protect your home from severe weather elements, which means the weather is what ultimately wears on your roof the most if it’s functioning properly! Signs of wear and tear include wind damage, residue in gutters, pockets of obvious moisture, and damaged flashings.

Shingle Condition

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of residential roofing today, but unfortunately, this material is the most susceptible to the damage of wind power. Shingles of any material, though, will start to obviously curve up when it’s time for your roof to be replaced.

Gutter Build-Up

You might not consider the gutters to be a part of your roof, but if it’s time for a new roof then it’s probably time for new gutters anyway. Especially for asphalt shingles, rainfall and moisture over time contribute to their erosion. The substance that is eroded away eventually seeps down to stick all throughout your gutters, which is a good sign that it’s time to consider replacement.

Leaky Ceiling

No roofing material will forever be impervious, so eventually, moisture can sneak through the barrier and into your home’s structure itself. If your ceilings are dripping or your attic is leaking, make a note that something needs to be done about your roof’s stability.

Dented Flashing

If you look on your roof, you might see metal running the lengths of its corners and eaves. These are called flashings, and they might acquire dents or curves over time to further suggest a roof replacement might be in order.

Do Your Research on Residential Roofing

Before you go any further, check with your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if some or all of the costs can be covered due to obvious and severe weather damage.

Some cities require construction permits for residential areas, so it’s important to check the policies for your location. That way, the contractor won’t have any problems when working somewhat noisily on your roof.

Even if you have a contractor in mind, it can be a good idea to shop around for additional information. Pose any questions you may have to more than one contractor so that you’ll feel more comfortable going forward in the replacement process with your favorite of the bunch.

Details to Consider

Don’t relax just yet. There are still some decisions to be made for your residential roofing replacement.

The most significant factor in this process is the cost, of course. Are you prepared to financially invest in the long-termm stability of your home’s structure?

Your overall cost depends on several factors, such as the shape of your home, the type of material you want, and the surface area of your roof. Even for the cheapest material (asphalt) on a basic size and shape of roof, your total costs are going to be around $5,000 – $10,000. This cost only climbs with better materials or more difficult angles for the laborers to work around.

After you’ve worked out your finances, consider having the best material you can afford installed for your new roof. Other than asphalt, you have the options of slate tiles, ceramic tiles, metal roofs, or even wooden shingles (the most environmentally friendly option.) Investing in the best materials for your needs will decrease the probability of repairs throughout the duration of your new roof’s lifetime.

Other details you will need to decide alongside your contractor include the type of gutter you want installed, if and where sufficient ventilation could prevent moisture buildup, and whether or not overhanging eaves are sized appropriately to defend the roof from the wind.

Timeline of Roof Replacement

Congratulations! It is now time to schedule the installation of your home’s new roof. Have the contractor of your choice assess your existing roof and provide you with a cost estimate.

As you can imagine, seasonal weather is significant to consider for this transition. If your roof can still last through the wet and rainy seasons, do your best to schedule the beginning of construction in the early summer before it gets too warm.

When the contractor is ready to start the replacement, the first step is to fully protect all of your property and home assets with industrial tarps. It’s at this point that the contractor can begin removing all the pieces of your expired residential roofing.

There is a basic wood decking under most residential roofs, which the contractor can hopefully leave in place after pulling off all the materials that were on top of it. He’ll have to inspect it thoroughly to make sure it is sound and able to bear the weight load of your new roofing.

When he’s satisfied with it, he’ll start installing the layers of insulation and protection that you’ve decided upon together. This can mean something like a felt barrier to protect against moisture, or a harder material to act as an actual ice and water shield.

Finally, he’ll be ready to install the roofing material of your choice. After this, it’s time to clean up the site and give your brand new roof one final inspection. Depending on the circumstances, this entire process can take anywhere from 1-4 days of your time.

Get Started Today

If this guide has convinced you as a homeowner that it’s time to consider replacing your roof, you need to seek out professionals you can trust. Living in the London area, we know you value local business and encourage you to reach out to us today to keep your home’s roof updated and secure.