Replacing your roof is a big job. It requires a hefty investment and, depending on the size of your house, will take a fair amount of time to complete. But your roofing replacement project begins well before the shingles come off - there are important decisions you need to make regarding the contractor, style of materials and details of the coverage. You'll also need to factor in for weather and the state of your roof deck and eavestrough. This might be a bigger job than you thought.
Choosing a Roofing Contractor
It is vital that you get at least three estimates for this project. Prices and services can vary considerably with a job of this size. If two contractors submit prices relatively close together, but another is much higher or lower, you may want to ask a few clarification questions of that third company.
Be sure that the roofing contractor you hire has adequate insurance and skilled staff. If they are members of a local builder's association you can usually expect a certain level of professionalism, since those organizations tend to keep their members accountable. Ask about the warranty and be sure they will practice safety standards while on your job site.
Choosing the Best Roofing Material
Shingles are the most commonly used roofing material. Much improved over the years, today's shingle brands are long lasting and designed to be aesthetically pleasing. Three tab asphalt shingles are available, but for only a little more money you can purchase architectural shingles that carry a limited lifetime warranty and come in beautiful profiles.
Remember that a 15 or 20-year shingle - which are not found as often in the current market - will only last around 7 to 12 years. The warranties are pro-rated, so after a few years replacement of the existing product through a warranty claim may cost as much as a complete replacement. Limited lifetime products are also pro-rated, but come with full coverage for 15 years, depending on the brand and product line.
Other roofing options include metal roofing, recycled rubber roofing products and natural products such as slate or clay. All of these options are rather pricey when compared to shingles, but they will generally last longer and offer environmental benefits.
When going with an alternative roofing material, be sure to contact a professional that specifically handles that product. You will find their knowledge and expertise invaluable. And research about these products to get a better idea of what to expect from your new roof.
Waiting For the Big Day
The actual installation of your new roof depends on quite a few factors. First of all, it needs to fit into the contractor's schedule. Material availability is definitely a factor. And the weather plays a major role in the scheduling.
Rain is to be avoided, since it creates dangerously slippery conditions and will result in water damage to the exposed roof deck. High winds will push your roofing replacement off, as will cold temperatures. But ultra hot weather will keep the roofer away as well - heat and extreme sun is dangerous and difficult to work in.
Be prepared to wait anywhere from a few weeks to a few months before your roofing project is done.
You can expect the roofers to arrive very early on the first day of work. Temperatures are lower in the morning and it helps production to get started with the early birds.
If you are having new shingles installed, the first step is to remove the existing shingles. A large trailer or bin will be set up in your driveway to collect the waste. Some of the alternative roofing materials can be installed directly over your old shingles, saving money on removal and keeping those materials out of the landfill.
Next a thorough inspection of your roof deck is required. These plywood pieces need to be in good shape - any that are spongy or rotting will be replaced. This may be an extra charge, although many roofers include two or three full sheets of plywood in their estimate.
Typically, the contractor will install an ice and water barrier along the edge of your roof. This three-foot strip is laid under the roofing material, while the rest of the roofing is installed directly on the plywood roof deck. Metal roofing panels are typically attached to wood stripping, while slate or slay tiles are nailed in various ways.
Vents are another factor to consider. Professional roofers will be sure that your existing vents are replaced with quality units and installed correctly, to ensure a snug fit. Metal liners are typically laid in the valleys and ridge vents are becoming a popular option for two-storey homes.
How Long Will the Job Last?
Depending on the size of your roof, this could be a one-day job. Many contractors will bring enough workers to get the job done quickly, because leaving your roof exposed overnight could be dangerous. But if you have a large house or a complicated project it could take a few days to complete.
Removal can usually be done quickly, with some of the workers repairing the roof deck and laying the valleys and ice and water barriers. After the shingle installation is complete clean up can also take a few hours. All of the nails, scraps and materials should be removed from your lawn, with extra care taken on the driveway and walkways. It's almost impossible to pick up everything, but a good roofer will be thorough and leave your property in good condition.
A roofing replacement project starts with the hiring process. You'll need to decide which roofing material will be used and then wait on the weather for the optimum scheduling. Expect the roofers to show up early, remove the existing roofing and work long and hard until the job is done. This expensive project needs to be handled by a professional and carefully planned. Protect your house and provide an attractive facade with a roofing replacement project that is well done from start to finish.Posted by: diana