Important Things to Know Before Installing a New Roof

Whether it’s pelting sleet, a torrential downpour, or a heavy mix of snow, there’s nothing like adverse weather to make you appreciate your home—and your roof, in particular. It keeps you and the rest of your house safe from the elements each and every day. It’s designed to hold up over time, and most people take that for granted until it begins to fail. If the time has come for you to replace your roof, here are a few crucial tips you’ll need to consider before the new installation:

Which Roofing Should You Choose?

The first thing you have to figure out is what type of roofing you want. It’s important to consider the look, but also the cost and expected lifespan of each product. For example, while asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable options, they’re also one of the shortest lasting of residential roofing products. Metal or concrete tend to offer longer life expectancies and are often a better deal for homeowners interested in a long-term investment.

Look over each of the available options and consider their benefits and downfalls. If you aren’t sure what would work well with your home, call in a roofing expert to examine your roof system and your current roofing to determine what your roof can handle and which option is a good investment for your home.

How Long Has Your Roof Been in Use?

There’s no reason to replace your roof if it isn’t absolutely necessary, and the best way to figure this out is to find out how long the current roof has been in use. If you had the last roof installed, you should be able to look up the date. If you bought the house from someone else, check your paperwork or get in touch with the previous owner to try and figure out the information. Many modern-day shingles last up to 20 years, and architectural shingles can last  up to 30 years. Galvalume metal roofing has a lifespan of 24 to 45 years, and concrete tile can last between 35 and 50 years.

Will You Layer it On?

Before you get started with your project, decide whether you’re going to peel off your existing roof before putting on the next one, or if you are just going to layer it on. Building code allows you to put up to two layers of shingles on the same roof, but the added weight from the extra layer will strain your roof a bit more. It’s always a good practice to remove the original layer of roofing before installing the next layer, but if you’re pressed for time you can add another layer if you only have one. If you have a curling or uneven roof, you should definitely remove the first layer before getting started.

Is Your Roof Frame in Good Shape?

Whether you’ve had leaks that you know about, or if you believe that your roof has been water-tight since being built, it’s always a good idea to examine the plywood that’s providing strength to your roof. If the sheathing is broken or soft in spots, or if it looks to be falling apart, it’s important to replace it. It’s a good idea to pull your roofing off to examine your roof system before installing a new layer, and that will help your next roof last even longer and perhaps save you from a nasty leak in the future.

Will you Do it yourself?

For most people, handling a roof installation probably isn’t a great idea, but if you have a good set of contractor tools and a decent amount of construction experience, it’s possible you can handle simple roofing installations such as asphalt shingles. Consider the cost savings doing the installation will allot you, and then decide if it’s worth the risk of a potentially leaky roof if you make a mistake.

roofers metal roof

What Contractor Will You Use?

While ambitious homeowners can tackle their own roof installations, most of the time you’re going to want to go with an experienced roofing company to take care of your roof installation needs. Before you get too far into the planning process, call around and see which roofing companies are available in your area. Get quotes from each of them and make sure the company you’re interested in working with installs the type of roofing you want on your home. Most companies will install asphalt shingles, but many won’t touch concrete tiles, rubber, or other more exotic roofing material options.

What was your experience with your roof installation? Let us know in the comments below!

3 Responses

  1. Lillian Schaeffer

    This is some great information, and I appreciate your suggestion to consider how long your roof has been in use before replacing it. My husband and I moved into this house around five years ago, and we’re not sure when the roof was installed, but it was a while before that. We’ll definitely try and figure that out before we decide for sure if we want to have it replaced. Thanks for the great post!

  2. Justin Knox

    My wife and I are going to have to get a new roof installed soon, but we have not chosen what type we should get. I am leaning towards shingles again. How long do you think that we can expect a shingle roof to last?

  3. Luke Yancey

    I agree with all of your questions. My favorite is the one that addresses how long the roof has been in use. Replacing a roof is expensive. If your roof has no issues and hasn’t been in use for too long, I recommend waiting a little longer before replacing it!

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