Quality roofing is essential to home maintenance. Consequently, roof assessment and replacement is the first step in any remodel. Drywall, paint, and flooring will all sustain damage if not properly protected with a strong, high-quality roof. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most important elements to consider when taking on a roof replacement.
Remove shingles or roof over them?
The first question many people ask when replacing a roof is whether to replace the shingles they currently have or just roof over them. To answer this question, there are three important factors to consider – WEIGHT, TELEGRAPHING, and MINIMIZING WORK AND WASTE. The main argument against laying on additional layers of shingles is that the roofing material can become too heavy for the underlying roof framing. Especially in older homes, it is important to consider how much weight your roofing structure can support and how much weight it is already holding. Telegraphing may also be an issue when it comes to laying new roofing over the existing shingles.
Telegraphing occurs when new shingles repeat existing surface irregularities, such as bubbles, bumps, or waves. To avoid this problem, you will need to redo the roof entirely or go over the old roof to correct as old problems. A hammer, some roofing nails, and a handful of shingles are often enough to correct any preexisting surface irregularities, but it can sometimes make more sense to start from scratch. It’s also important to consider how you are budgeting your time and costs to minimize work and waste. While roofing professionals are able to strip most roofs in a morning, it can be a taxing job to take on by yourself.
How can I save on casts and materials?
The cost of replacing a roof varies depending on which roofing materials you decide to use, the pitch (or steepness) of your roof, the surface area to be covered, and the roofing contractor you decide to work with. Generally, a rock-bottom 3-tab composite roof on a small home can cost as little as $7,500. But, a new roof is an important investment and durability, aesthetics, and quality should be taken into consideration when deciding how to budget for a roof replacement. Additionally, roofing contractors have considerable flexibility when it comes to negotiating on cost, so you should feel free to do so. Taking on a roof replacement can be daunting, so it’s important to remember that you have options!
What materials should I use?
There are five basic types of roofing materials – ASPHALT COMPOSITION SHINGLES, RUBBER SLATE or “FAUX” SLATE, SLATE ROOFING, WOOD SHAKE, and METAL ROOFING. The type of roofing you select will depend on your personal preference. It will also depend on your budget, roofing structure, and roof pitch (steepness). Asphalt composition shingles are inexpensive and easy to obtain. However, they are less aesthetically pleasing than some other options due to a flat appearance. Rubber slate is a recycled post-industrial synthetic material that is gaining in popularity as an alternative to slate roofing.
Slate roofing is high-end, but a heavy option. It is important to consider how much weight the slate will add to your roof structure. Wood shake is a pricey option, but it is a highly attractive material. Wood shingles are often used for steeper pitched roofs. However, we don’t recommend them for low-pitched roofs because they are susceptible to leakage. Metal roofing is relatively rare, but it is gaining in popularity. However, it is difficult to install and requires roofers with experience in installing metal roofs.
What does the process entail?
Because all roofing materials need to be perfectly dry before work begins, the optimal roofing season starts in late spring. The season also continues through to early fall in most parts of the US. The best way to optimize dry periods in the offseason is to hire a large team of efficient professional workers. A moderately-sized, professionally installed roofing job could take about three to four days. In this time, the workers should accomplish a series of tasks – removing all existing shingles, making minor repairs and/or replacing damaged wood with plywood, installing ice dam protection to prevent a backup of ice from forming in the gutters, laying down asphalt paper, applying the shingles, applying flashing around all leak-prone areas (chimney, stack vents, etc.), and, finally, installing the ridge vent.
Want to learn more? Contact us for a free estimate on your roofing project!