Things to Know Before Replacing a Roof

What You Need to Know Before Replacing a Roof

What can be beautiful, practical, durable, and “priceless” in protecting your home and family?  Your home’s roof!  Maintaining and, when necessary, replacing a roof is an investment that shouldn’t be ignored. If you have reason to believe your roof needs replacing, here are 5 things to know before you get started:

Remove or not to remove.

If your roof only has one layer of asphalt shingles, you are allowed to install a new layer right on top; however, if you already have two layers, you cannot add a third layer.  This is due to the excess weight for the underlying roof framing that could cause structural problems.

Having one layer in place already and adding a second layer will save you some money, but it isn’t the best decision. Layering shingles doesn’t allow for inspecting and repairing the decking and flashing underneath.  Only a professional roofing contractor is trained to conduct a thorough roof inspection and recommend the best options for your climate, roof pitch, and budget.

Understand the basics.

Being an educated consumer is essential to a successful roof replacement.  Research basic roofing terminology such as square, bundle, roof pitch, weight issues, telegraphing, etc.   The more you know about the process and expertise necessary, the more confident you’ll be in interviewing roofing contractors.

The same goes for knowing about the different types of roofing materials available including pro and cons of each.  The cost, specific materials, and length of time to replace your roof will depend upon your location, roof pitch, and wallet. You might want to know whether wood shake shingles can be used for low-pitched roofs or is a high-end, highly attractive slate roof a better choice or should you go with a metal roof? Professional roofers are best equipped to answer these questions for you.

Shop around.

Search the internet or pick up the phone and ask for referrals from neighbors, lumber yards, and other trusted sources to find qualified, professional roofing contractors in your area.  They are NOT all created equal and their prices, past performance, and customer reviews are all important in your decision-making process.  Investigate several different roofing companies using Home Advisor, Angie’s List as well as through your local and state licensing boards.

Keep in mind that cutting corners by going with the lowest bidder may “cost” you more than you bargained for in substandard materials, shoddy work, and poor customer service. As with most major purchases, you get what you pay for.  The more homework you do in the beginning, the more likely you’ll get the quality materials and workmanship you require at the finish line.

You don’t have to wait until summer to replace your roof.

In general, most homeowners elect to have a roof replacement between late spring and early fall in South Central Pennsylvania; however, a well-coordinated roofing team can perform roofing work year-round.  Experts know how to get the job done efficiently and effectively under a variety of weather conditions.

Have your paperwork in order.

You’ll need a building permit for the roofing project, a written contract from your contractor specifying all details, products, and costs, and a letter from the contractor’s insurance carrier addressed to you that confirms your project is fully covered under the contractor’s liability and worker’s compensation plan.

If you live in Southern PA or Northern MD and need a roof inspection performed by a respected, reliable professional prior to replacing your roof, contact us today!