Though residential roofs are designed for years of worry-free usage, ordinary wear and tear may lead to the need for roofing repair or replacement. Unfortunately, most of today’s homeowners don’t notice the earliest signs of damage, leading to costly water damage. With an understanding of the symptoms of roof damage, roofing material types, and the cost of a job, it’s easier to make the right choice for the home. In this guide, you’ll find helpful information on making the repair vs. replacement decision and working with local contractors.
Detecting Early Signs of Trouble
With a once-yearly roof inspection, it’s easier to budget and plan for important repairs. Though DIY inspections are possible, it’s best to leave the job to a qualified roofing contractor. They’ll inspect the rooftop for problems such as moss and algae growth, broken flashing, and missing, curled, or cracked shingles. Inside the home, they’ll look for peeling paint, water stains on the ceiling and walls, and other issues that indicate the need for roof repair or replacement.
Repair or Replace: Which Is Better?
The decision to repair or replace a roof depends on various factors, including the roof’s physical condition. Obviously, repairs are more appealing cost-wise, but they’re not always appropriate. If a roof is over two decades old or has suffered extensive damage, repairs may not last that long—and they’ll only delay the inevitable.
Additionally, your area’s climate may help you make the repair vs. replacement decision. For instance, asphalt shingles have a lifespan of up to 20 years, but continuous heat exposure reduces that number significantly. If a roof suffers storm damage, homeowner’s insurance may cover part or all of the cost of repairs or replacement, but it’s your job to mitigate the damage. A roofing contractor can cover the affected area, preventing further water damage and buying enough time to schedule repairs.
Selecting Roofing Materials
Now that you’ve made the decision to replace or repair your roof, the next step is to choose the materials for the job. There are quite a few options available, each with unique pros and cons, and your contractor will recommend materials that fit your aesthetic, durability, and budgetary requirements. Before choosing roofing materials, consider these factors.
These are just some of the most important factors to think of when replacing or repairing a roof. Your contractor will help by recommending the right materials for the climate, your home, and your budget.
Material Quality and Quantity: Which Is More Important When Repairing or Replacing a Roof?
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Roofing materials are no exception, and those with lower cost typically have a shorter lifespan than costlier, higher-grade options. When you’re selecting roofing materials, consider their cost and their characteristics. Materials are usually sold by the “square”, or 100 square feet. With that fact in mind, we’ll look at two common roofing materials.
Shingles have several notable advantages. They’re easy to install, simple to maintain, and they’re durable when properly maintained. In most instances, they’re economically priced, and they are comparable to costlier roofing materials in terms of longevity and quality. A roofing specialist will review your options as well as their benefits and drawbacks.
Hiring a Roofing Contractor
As a home’s roof is its first line of defense against the elements, it’s crucial to choose an installer with the tools, knowledge, and certifications to get the job done right. Past experience is a major factor; if they’ve done similar jobs in the past, examples will give you a better idea of what to expect.
Time and budgetary constraints are another factor to consider. All projects, including roof repairs and replacements, should start with a firm budget and completion timeline. Choose a contractor who makes promises and sticks to them. The best roofers will work within your parameters, creating a plan that provides the highest-quality results for the lowest possible cost.
Many homeowners are tempted to hire unlicensed roofers as a cost-cutting measure. However, this choice can be disastrous. Roofers should be certified, licensed, bonded, and insured for property damage and on-the-job injuries. If not, you may have to pay for any damages out of pocket, and you might even face a lawsuit.
Though it’s part of human nature to choose the most budget-friendly option, an unusually low bid can be indicative of low-quality workmanship or materials. Expert craftsmanship and top-quality materials may cost more upfront, but they’ll pay off in terms of durability and longevity.
Roofing: The Basics
By learning about the process and understanding industry terminology, you’ll be more able to make informed decisions on repair and replacement. An average-sized roof may take three or four days to install when the crew uses the process outlined below.
As the job concludes, the crew will clean up the area and haul away debris before having the installation evaluated and approved.
Roofing During the Off-Season
A skilled roofing crew is a real asset, and that’s why homeowners everywhere count on contractors to do these jobs. In most parts of the country, “roofing season” spans from spring to fall, but a skilled crew may be able to extend the season slightly. Unless you’re in the midst of a storm, there’s no reason not to hire a contractor during the off-season. In fact, it may even cost less! By hiring a professional roofing team, you’ll get the work done sooner without sacrificing quality.
It’s not easy to decide whether to repair or replace a home’s roof, but hopefully, the information in this guide has made the process a little easier. Do your research, ask the important questions, and keep the lines of communication open—you’ll have no trouble finding a dedicated, competent local roofing contractor
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