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San Jose Roof Repair and Installation Guide
No matter where you live in the United States, you can expect replacing the roof of your home to be a significant financial investment. While the cost of a new roof can vary greatly based on the size of the home and the quality of the materials used, most homeowners can expect to spend at least $5,000 on their roof, and most will spend $15,000 or more.
When committing to a home improvement project that is as costly as installing a new roof, it is important to thoroughly research the many decisions you need to make concerning the materials you will use and who you will hire to do the work. There are limitations and benefits to all types of materials, and they vary greatly in price and quality. Your location in San Jose will also influence the choices you make since it is important to take the climate into consideration and to follow permit requirements and building codes put in place by your city’s government.
In this San Jose roof buying guide, we provide the information you need to know about replacing a roof in San Jose’s climate, the city’s permit laws, and the options available for financing your roof.
Knowing When to Replace Your Roof
Even though most roofs are built to have a long life, they will need to be repaired and replaced eventually. When the time comes to install a new roof, the age of your roof is the most obvious sign—any roof that is older than 25 years probably needs a complete replacement. In some cases, problems that are normally fixed with a repair such as leaks, daylight shining through the boards in your attic, curling or missing shingles, and buckling of your roof that will be serious enough to warrant a full replacement of your roof.
Buying Roofing Materials Suited for the Climate in San Jose
At this time, there are no laws in place that require homeowners living in San Jose to comply with Cool Roofs guidelines when replacing their roof or building a new home. However, ENERGY STAR® strongly recommends the use of Cool Roofs in hot environments. Residents living in San Jose experience high temperatures during the summer, and very mild winters, making an ENERGY STAR® qualified cool roof perfect for this location.
While conventional roofs typically only reflect 20% of the solar radiation that hits their surface, cool roofs are made from materials that are able to reflect up to 80% of solar radiation. This results in the surface of the roof being up to 50% cooler than other roofs and, in turn, lowers the temperature inside of the home by several degrees.
Cool roofs are helpful in that they lower homeowner’s utility expenses, but they are also good for the environment. Not only will homeowners with a cool roof consume less energy to cool their home, they also lower local air temperatures and reduce power plant emissions.
As a result of the recent push for cool roofs in California, many roofing material manufacturers are now offering a large selection of energy efficient products. Cool California has provided a search engine for finding roofing products that are sorted by the type of product, color of the product, the type of efficiency standards they meet, and the rebates available with each product.
Paying for a Roof Replacement in San Jose
The City of San Jose has teamed up with PG&E to provide financial assistance options to homeowners who are striving to make their home more energy efficient. Assistance with roof repairs is limited to households with low incomes and a roof that no longer passes local building codes. To learn how to apply for financial assistance for home repairs, visit the PG&E website.
For homeowners who do not qualify for assistance with the cost of replacing their roofs, there are also special financing programs available in San Jose. The city has partnered with HERO to provide low-interest loans with deferred payments to residents who are making energy efficient improvements to their home. Included within the program is financing for the installation of a cool roof that meets ENERGY STAR® guidelines. To learn more about HERO financing, you can visit their website or apply over the phone by calling (855) HERO-411.
San Jose Permit and Licensing Requirements
State and federal governments have given cities the authority to create their own permit regulations and building codes. Since a roof replacement is considered to be a major home improvement, a general building permit must be obtained from the San Jose Building department before beginning work. Building plans and the materials being used must be approved as part of the permit application process, so it is best to wait to make purchases until you have determined that your chosen materials will meet city guidelines. To learn more about applying for a permit, visit the official website of the San Jose Building Department.
When it comes time to hire a contractor, it is important to find someone who meets state licensing and insurance requirements. The State of California requires all contractors who are making major home improvements and repairs, including roof replacements, to have a current general builder’s license through the California Department of Consumer Affairs. If the contractor you hire also has employees working for them, they are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover the cost of medical bills and missed wages if one of their employees is injured while on the job.
Maintaining the Life of Your Roof in San Jose
In general, roofs are built to last for 20 or more years. However, maintaining the energy efficiency of your roof and extending the life of your roof requires regular upkeep. At the very least, thoroughly inspect your roof once a year for signs of damage, debris, or weakness. If you notice leaks, buckling, or water pooling on your roof, have it repaired immediately to avoid further damage and the need for more costly repairs. If you experience extreme weather in San Jose, it is important to perform a quick inspection of your roof for damage or debris.
If you have chosen energy efficient materials that meet ENERGY STAR® requirements and make a regular effort to maintain the durability of your roof, you can expect to experience significant savings on your heating and cooling bills. In addition to utility savings, homeowners can anticipate recouping an average of 80% of the initial cost of their roof if they choose to sell their home.