Roof installations are one of the best and most important home improvement projects homeowners take on. Unfortunately, they also tend to be among the most expensive home maintenance needs. And as one would expect, the best roofing materials out there are long-lasting, but age and weather conditions can compromise the roof’s aesthetic and durability.
It is critical to be on watch for signs of damage to your roof to prevent even more expensive repairs. However, if your roof is damaged, you might need to ascertain if spot repairs are worth it, or complete reinstallation would be a better investment in your home.
It is vital to schedule a professional roofer to perform a regular inspection of your roof. They can find signs of damage that you might have missed with just a visual inspection. Fires, extreme winds, ice storms, and tornado events are some obvious reasons that your roof may be damaged. However, there are other signs such as missing shingles, stains or drips in the ceiling, moss growth, roofing granules in your gutters, or rust spots on the roof that can indicate roof damage.
Some damages are easy to fix, such as ordinary roof leaks. Others may also affect your soffits, gutters, fascia and in cases of particularly bad damage, you may have damage to interior ceilings and walls.
Knowledgeable roofers can find the source of the leak and fix it. They can even take care of the replacement of just a few shingles or have a gutter system installed to redirect water from the roof away from its foundation. But often and without any obvious signs, you might need a new roof if your roof is about 15 – 20 years old. Replacing your roof at the right time will ensure there is no severe damage to your roof’s construction structure (such as rafters, joists, decking, etc.). Likewise, keeping your roof and gutters healthy can also help preserve your home’s foundation.
You can find various types of roofs to suit different requirements, climate, budget, and labor. Here are some of the top options for you to select from.
One of the most common choices for roofing materials is asphalt shingles. And these kinds of roofs are also the most common ones that you will see in the U.S. The ease of installation, inexpensive price, and durability are some of the factors that make this type of roofing the best roofing choice for many. They are lightweight and come in many different color choices to match your home architecture requirements. These not only need little maintenance but can also be resistant to all kinds of weather conditions. These can often last for about 20-25 years with little maintenance, but in places with a hot and humid climate, they may need to be replaced a little more frequently.
Tiles are another top option for homeowners with Mediterranean or Spanish-style houses. They are quite durable, but since they are heavy, a professional needs to be called to evaluate if the structure of your house can support the weight. Whether one selects clay or concrete tiles, they are quite strong, fireproof, and resistant to extreme weather conditions. These tiles need to be installed by professionals to ensure they last for for a very long time.
Slate roofs are quite common among Victorian-style houses. Slates are practically indestructible and can last for 100 years, even in extreme weather. These are available in many different colors, including dark grey, green, and red. One of the biggest challenges with slate roofing is that it needs to be installed in a specific manner, so it is not ideal for DIY projects. So, you’ll want to plan to hire a reputed company if you are considering slate roofing for your home.
Some common types of metal roofs include aluminum, steel, alloy, and copper and are available in panels, long strips, and tiles. These are lightweight, durable, and recyclable; they also reflect UV rays, making them viable for homes in warmer climates. They are also available in many different textures and various finishes allowing you to improve the aesthetic value of your home. Top-quality metal roofs can last for up to 50 years when installed properly by roofers.
Wood shakes or shingles are premium roofing materials that provide a natural and traditional look. When installed on the roof, they turn into a soft grey color over time, giving your home a rustic look. You might need to check the rules and regulations in your area to make sure wood shingles are not disallowed in your neighborhood. There are areas that do not permit them because they can be a fire hazard. When installed correctly. Wood shakes and shingles can also last for up to 50 years.
Composite shingles are engineered materials used to create shingles made up of polymer or synthetic blends. Available in many styles and colors, they can duplicate the look of any number of other types of shingles, such as asphalt, slate, tiles, wood shakes, etc. And better yet, they tend to outperform the original materials in terms of durability, color-fastness, and weather stress.
Irrespective of the type of roof you pick, you need to ensure you hire a reliable and reputed contractor to install them for you. The first step in the process is choosing the best roofer for your house. Afterward, you begin learning about out which roofing material would be perfect for your home and researching manufacturers. You can then compare the estimates from different manufacturers and then pick the one that is best for you. However, one of the best ways to make the right decision is to find a roofer who can provide recommendations on the best type of roof for your home.
Roofing materials are priced by square. To calculate the total cost of the roofing material, you need to measure the roof section in feet and then multiply the length and the width together to come to the total area in square feet. Add the different areas and add extra 10% square footage to cover any potential wastage during the installation process. Now, divide this total area by 100 to find out the amount of material you will need. Most of the time, these materials are sold in packs, so you might need to consider how many square feet these packs can cover. You might consider purchasing extra material that you can keep in reserve for any future damage. Taking the advice of a roofer will ensure you are able to purchase the right amount of material and minimize waste.
Once you have picked a roofing style, you need to find local roofing contractors. The best roofing company will have a good reputation in the market and will be highly recommended by the product manufacturer. You can also check with your homeowner’s insurance company, which should have a list of roofing contractors to help you choose from. Make sure to select a roofing contractor who has been around for a while and who can provide local references. They should also have at least a BBB rating and should bge properly insured.
Installation cost will vary depending on the roof type, amount of roofing material, and labor hours needed. Ask for bids from at least three to four roofing companies. The total cost for such a big project will vary somewhat from contractor to contractor. Please realize that the cost of materials should be similar no matter who is installing them. But, other costs such as labor can vary significantly. Make sure to ask for a breakdown of the total cost, including the price of materials, labor for removing the old roof, installing the new one, and contingency budget for any problem that the roofer might discover during the process.
When checking the contract from a roofer, make sure to read the warranties for the roofing materials. Manufacturer warranties usually do not cover any extreme damage. So, the installer usually does not offer any kind of warranty in this scenario, but it never hurts to ask. Nonetheless, your homeowners’ insurance should protect you in these scenarios, so this coupled with your installer’s warranty should have you well protected. Also, ask if the warranty can be transferred to a new owner if you are considering selling the house in the coming years.
Consult with your contractor and check the regulations to see if new roofing material can be placed over the old one. It is much less expensive than tearing off the old decking and replacing part or all of it with new materials before installing a new roof.
Does the entire roof need to be replaced or just the damaged part? You don’t always need a whole new roof! Speak to your contractor to discuss your options and then make an informed decision.
You always want to check the reputation and the experience of the contractor you are hiring. You can also read the reviews online and their Better Business Bureau rating to get an idea about the quality of their previous work.
Compare the estimates from different contractors. But the price should not be the only criteria for you to select a particular contractor. A lot of inexperienced or untrustworthy contractors might provide a low estimate, but you might end up with a low-quality roof.
Ask your friends, families, or even your roofing contractor for their thoughts on the color choices for your roof. Check out different colors, and then pick one based on how relevant the colors would be in the next 5 or 10 years.
While most roofing companies do specialize in roofing, you can sometimes hire a roofing company that will handle other types of repairs or updates as well. For instance, it’s often advisable to learn whether the company offers competent gutter repair and replacement or siding repairs and installation. Sometimes the roofing company can even oversee other repairs or construction for you if they have a general contractor license. So this is a smart thing to consider and ask about at this stage of the process.
This is just a short guide to help you understand and consider everything that goes into a roofing project. Do not rush into hiring a contractor after talking to them just once. Take your time understanding your needs, the qualities of the roofing contractors you are considering, and then hire the best roofing contractor who can fulfill them. We sincerely hope that you will consider Roof Lux, LLC as one of your options!
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