A roof that fails can have devasting consequences so if you see signs that your roof is wearing out or if it is more than 20 years old, you may want to consider replacing it. Roof replacement is not a repair that should be delayed so if you sense your roof is nearing the end of its life and needs replacing, consider these useful tips.
- Check your roof decking and attic ventilation
Remove your roof completely to see the condition of the decking, the plywood foundation of the roof system supporting the shingles. Moisture seeping into the roof can cause wet insulation, mildew, leaks, decking not able to support shingles and costly repairs. Rotted roof decking must be replaced as new shingles attached to faulty wood has a reduced roof lifespan. The attic must have ventilation to decrease roof temperature in summer and moisture build up in winter. Install a radiant barrier in the attic ceiling, fans in the attic and a home ventilation system. Know what type of venting is on top of the roof to remove hot air and at the base of the roof to bring in fresh air.
- Tearing off the existing roof is better than a roof over
Have a tear off that removes the shingles and underlying protective membrane so you can search for and repair water damage before installing the new roof. Everything can be replaced with new materials that can last up to 30 years. Then you won’t need to think about maintenance for some time and your return on property investment will increase. A ‘roof over’, placing new shingles over old ones is tempting, but the second layer won’t last as long because heat and moisture builds under it and materials get too heavy for the roof frame causing a structural problem. When you sell your home, your two-layer roof may look bumpy to potential buyers who may feel other improvements were done cheaply.
- Select roofing materials suited to purpose
Your choice of roofing materials often depends on your area, roof pitch and taste. Some materials are suitable for steeper pitched roofs, while others are ideal for flatter, low-pitched roofs. Metal roofs may be common in certain regions because they are fire resistant. Architectural shingles last long, but may be more expensive than asphalt shingles which is cheap, but less attractive. Slate roofing is an attractive, high-end roofing system, but can be expensive, heavy and difficult to repair when damaged. Composition slate is made from recycled materials which looks like slate and stone tiles, but is lighter and less susceptible to damage. Clay or ceramic tile roofs are long-lasting, durable, aesthetically pleasing and need minimal maintenance.
- Focus on quality and services included
A number of factors affect the cost of a roof including choice of roofing materials, contractor chosen, pitch and square footage of your roof. Look for a fair price covering cost of quality materials and installation that creates a good return on investment. Ask whether the price includes all materials for your roof replacement down to nails, delivering new materials, removing and disposing the old roof, labour, a project manager, getting a permit and arranging inspections. Understand how the contractor proceeds if they find unsound areas in roof decking after they remove old shingles and how that affects cost. Factor in hidden costs when you evaluate quotes and what products and services each quote covers.
- Choose an experienced contractor
Your contractor should do an inspection, give an estimate, be willing to coordinate with your insurance company and should get any necessary permits. Find out if there is an extended warranty for your roof, what it includes and how long it lasts. Know what happens if there are unforeseen costs and understand service you receive after installation. Understand what inspections the contractor does to ensure quality of work and schedule roof work during dry weather if possible, so you don’t worry about rain coming in when the roof is half-done. A professional company like Summit Roofs has years of experience, many satisfied customers, is fully licensed, bonded and insured plus knows and follows all building codes and regulations.