It’s easy to have a lot of questions when making a big investment on your home such as a roof replacement. There are many factors to consider when making such a big decision. You, as a customer, deserve all the answers that go along with such an investment. So, what are some common questions customers have when it comes to roof installations and replacements?
DIY Roofing: Can I just replace my roof myself?
Many customers want to look for ways to save money on an already expensive investment. There are DIY recommendations for pretty much any project you can think of nowadays. However, when it comes to the roof over your home, there are several reasons to stick with general contractors and professional roofers for this task.
Potential Roof Damage and Warranties
Being untrained and unlicensed, a DIY roofing project has a lot of room to go wrong. Without proper experience, this can lead to cosmetic imperfections of the roof, leaks, or even damage and eventual collapse of the improperly installed roof. Not only is this a danger to the home’s structural integrity, but also to the residents inside. Furthermore, damage from an improper roof installation can end up being more costly to fix in the long run.
Additionally, doing the work yourself can potentially void your manufacturer’s warranty for problems that would have been covered had the roofing installation been done by a licensed contractor.
Legal Reasons and Licensing
Depending on where your home is located, it may be illegal for homeowners to do their own roofing installations. Moreso, roofing installations should always be done by someone who has a license to do so. This also goes for contractors. If a contractor does not have a license to do contracting work that they can provide for you, you should not hire them for your renovation project.
Do my old shingles have to be removed first?
This is another common question for clients. Typically, this comes up in trying to save on the cost of the project. However, cautious homeowners also typically ask this with the potential that a second layer will make the roof last longer. Both reasons pose understandable concerns in the matter. However, roofing over existing shingles can do more harm than good, both for your home and your wallet.
Firstly, in a roofing project, shingles need to be laid flat. This can be hard to achieve with old, lifted or curling shingles not being removed. This factor alone takes away some of the quality and longevity of your new roof installation.
Secondly, removing the old shingles allows the installer to inspect the underside for damage or other potential concerns. Without removal of the old shingles, these concerns would otherwise go undetected, which could lead to additional, more costly problems, in the near future.
Thirdly, roofing over your existing shingles potentially takes away a warranty you may have on the home.
Lastly, as it is, shingles add weight to the roof of your home. When you don’t remove the old shingles and simply add a second layer, you are doubling the weight of your roof. This can cause structural problems in the long run, if your roof is not built to sustain such a large additional weight.
Overall, it’s better to avoid the future costs and problems that come with roofing over old shingles.
How do I know my roof needs to be replaced?
The Age of Your Roof
How old is your roof? While you may not see obvious signs of wear and tear, your roof may still be past its life expectancy. While factors like material can impact the longevity of a roof, most experts agree that a roof should last approximately 20 years. If your roof is nearing or exceeding this age, it may be time to contact a licensed roofing contractor.
If you’ve had a recent storm in your area, it is always a good idea to get an inspection done. There are licensed contractors who can inspect for potential storm damage. Additionally, if your roof has storm damage, a contractor who works in storm restoration can help you with the insurance process on your roof repair or replacement. Even if you don’t see any visible damage, it is still best to get a professional to take a look.
If you notice signs of wear to your roof, this is a sign that it’s time to contact a roofing contractor. Signs to look for are:
- Are the shingles curling?
- Are they buckling?
- Can you see daylight through your roof boards?
- Are the shingles losing granules?
- Are some of the shingles missing?
- Does it spongy when walking on the roof?
- Are shingle granules collecting in your gutters?
All of these are signs that your shingles are worn or past their life expectancy.
Finally, if you are ever in doubt or unsure, you can always find an inspector or contractor to take a look for you. A licensed contractor knows what to look for in a roof and how best to help you on the roofing process
Do you need help with your next roofing project?
Built Strong Exteriors is licensed and trained in roofing contracting services and inspections. Do you need help on your next roofing project? Are you unsure if you need a new roof? Contact us today for a free, no-obligation inspection.