Replacing Your Residential Roof? Important Considerations for Homeowners
Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and windstorms are just a few of the natural events that can take an immediate toll on the condition of any roofing material. Barring this type of damage, most homeowners need to periodically replace their home's roof for less dramatic causes, such as aging or deterioration from constant exposure to sunlight.
Homeowners who wonder if their home's shingled roof needs replacement or those that have general questions about the process can use the following information to get the answers they need.
How often will roof replacement be required?
While the actual time frame for replacing your home's roof can vary widely, depending on factors such as the quality of the original shingles and the climate where the home is located, recognized roofing experts typically suggest that asphalt shingles have a lifespan of 20 to 25 years. If the current shingles were installed over an existing layer of shingles, they may need to be replaced at the 20-year mark, due to the additional wear that such applications can create.
Will the existing shingles need to be removed?
As indicated in the previous answer, placing a second layer of shingles over an existing layer can shorten their lifespan. When new shingles are placed on top of existing ones, the thicker layer captures and retains heat for longer periods of time, causing them to age faster.
Sometimes homeowners do opt to add a second layer of shingles over the existing one, even though they understand the potential issue of a shortened lifespan. This choice may be made to simplify the roof replacement process or shave off some associated costs, such as the landfill disposal fees required for disposing of the old shingles.
It is important to remember that each layer of roofing also adds considerable weight to the roof structure, which is why home insurance providers and roofing contractors often advise homeowners to fully replace existing shingles, instead of adding a second layer.
Must the entire roof be replaced?
While most homeowners choose to replace the entire shingled roof in one project, it may not be a requirement. For instance, a partial roof replacement might be suitable for a roof that shows significantly more wear in a specific area. Ranch-style homes and others with simple roof designs can be good candidates for a partial roof replacement, should the homeowner decide to go that route.
Will roof replacement leave a mess on the lawn?
Homeowners who have never before dealt with a roof replacement project often worry about whether the process will leave their lawn in a mess. These homeowners should be reassured to learn that reputable roofing contractors routinely take steps to protect the condition of their customer's property during the entire project.
These steps can include keeping heavy trucks and machinery off the lawn, removing packaging and other debris as the work is completed, and using powerful magnets to pick up any stray roofing nails at the end of the project.
What should homeowners expect from a roofing contractor?
Homeowners who are ready to begin the roofing replacement process should ask some specific questions before making their selection. During the interview process, homeowners should ask for:
- proof of a contractor's license and suitable insurance
- contact information for past customers who can be contacted for verification
- information on any applicable warranties on work or materials
- specific timeframes for when the work will be scheduled and how weather-related delays will be handled
In addition to this information, homeowners should ask each roofing contractor they interview for a detailed bid that covers all aspects of the work to be done and the materials they'll use.