New Roof Installation
You might think you don’t need to start considering installing a new roof until the old one starts springing a leak, but if you wait till that happens it will be more costly. Why? Because by the time you see the leak happening, the damage to the structure of your home will already have happened and you’ll have more expenses to fix it.
Here’s some things to look for to help in deciding whether its time to hire someone to install a new roof:
How old is the current roof? If it was installed correctly and with proper materials, an asphalt shingle roof will last about 20 to 25 years, sometimes longer, and a tile roof should last 30 years or more. It could also depend on how many shingle layers you have, if its an asphalt shingle roof, and if it has been properly ventilated. If you’ve lived there for a lot of years and you don’t know when the roof was installed, you might want to consider having a roof inspection.
- Go outside and take a look at the roof. Are the shingle lines straight or do you see sagging or other imperfections? Sagging means that the sheathing under the shingles is rotting. Pay particular attention to the valleys, which are the most important parts of your roof because it’s where rain flows to the gutters and the ground.
- Do you see cracked, curled or broken shingles? Cracked or broken tiles? As shingles and tiles age, they deteriorate. Are any shingles or tiles missing? Check to see if all of the tabs or end pieces are intact.
- Is your chimney flashing constructed with roof cement or tar? Chimneys can be a serious weak spot on roofs and need to have a long-term, water-tight fitting such as sturdy metal flashing.
- Go up in your attic, during or immediately after a good rain, and look for signs of leaks or water damage. Also check to see if there’s any daylight streaming through the roof where it shouldn’t be.
If you’re seeing any of these warning signs, hire a qualified roof inspector give you a professional opinion.
Hiring a Roofing Contractor
Installing a new roof will probably be one of the biggest investments a property owner will make. If it goes well, it’s an investment that will last 20 to 30 years or more. But that also makes it risky, because while there are a lot of honest, knowledgeable and professional roofing contractors, there are also many crooked and incompetent ones. That’s probably why roofing has always been one of the most frequently researched professions on the internet.
When hiring a roof installation contractor, follow these guides to get the most out of your hard-earned money:
- Ask the contractor to show you their proof of licensing, workers comp and their liability insurance. Make sure you write down the contractor’s license number, so you can verify it with your state or local registrar of contractors, and to check if they have any complaints that are unresolved.
- Get references of past customers and make sure you call them. If the roofing contractor acts offended or put off when asked for references or licensing proof, you should view them with suspicion and probably choose someone else to do the job.
- Be especially careful of someone who knocks on your door offering a super deal, especially if its after a storm that’s done a lot of damage in your neighborhood. There are some reputable roofing contractors that look for work this way, but it’s also a usual tactic scammers use.
Is Your Existing Roof Under Warranty?
When your roof has a problem, you need to know if its covered by your homeowner’s insurance and what your roof’s warranty will cover.
Many home insurance policies don’t have coverage for roofing damage. The only way to know if it is covered is to get hold of your insurance agent and go through and read the policy. Make sure to check the fine print for any exclusions.
Ask your insurance company’s agent about weather, fire and repair damage. Also, check with your insurance company about their policies for claim payment for roof damage. Insurance companies that have adjusters for roof repairs can make faster payments for any roof damage that is covered.
Not all roofs need insurance for wind damage. Insurance policies that cover fire damage often include wind damage in the policy, but make sure you check it.
Roof warranties should protect you if the new roof installation is poor or the roofing materials are defective. There are two kinds of warranties. Most highly rated roofing contractors offer both types. A manufacturer’s warranty covers the materials, while a workmanship warranty covers you if the contractor provides faulty installation. A lot of times, a good, professional roofing company will offer a guarantee on their work for the lifetime of the roof.
What Will a New Roof Cost?
Considering the investment that a new roof installation entails, it’s very important to look at the different things that influence the cost to replace a roof.
There’s a fairly big price range for the different types of roofs available — from asphalt shingles to metal, tile, and slate — and the type of material you choose will be the most important of the cost factors.
Nationwide,consumers spend an average of about $11,0000 to $12,000 to tear-off and replace an asphalt roof. A metal or tile roof installation averaged $15,000 to $17,000, and could be more depending on the materials chosen, while roof repairs for various leak issues, shingle or tile replacement, and minor fascia work cost consumers $700 to $900 on average.
The roof’s size and pitch also play a big factor in the estimate, as does the roof’s accessibility. Make sure you get at least three estimates for a new roof installation before hiring your contractor, and make sure those estimates take all of these factors into consideration so you’re comparing apples to apples and you aren’t surprised by any added expenses in the middle of the job.