Is there water dripping on your head? What about moss growing on your roof? Did a storm come through and damage part of your roof?
These are all unfortunate signs that your home may be in (desperate) need of a new roof. But roof replacement is expensive. You shouldn't do it without first spending a little time doing research.
Here are 7 things to know before replacing a roof.
The type of material you choose for your new roof will directly affect how much it costs. Not only is the price of the material itself a factor, but also the work and time that it will take to install.
Consider your options carefully. Going for a cheap solution like asphalt shingles can seem like a good idea to save money. But if you invest a little more in a stronger material that will last longer it could save you money in the long run.
But what if you don't plan to live in the house long enough to enjoy your investment? A house with a better roof on it will have a higher resale value. So even if you plan to sell in a few years a good, solid roof is a good idea.
Determine if you have to strip off your old roof before you begin. You can save yourself hundreds in installation costs if you can simply have the new roof installed over the old one.
However, this is affected by a few factors. First of all, only two layers of asphalt shingles are allowed for weight reasons. So if your roof has already been covered once, you have no choice but to strip it off.
Keep in mind that shingles don't adhere as well to other shingles as they do to the roof itself. This means that if you live in a windy area, it's probably a good idea to strip the old roof off first to secure the new shingles properly.
Plus, if your roof is in really bad shape, it is a good idea to strip it first. There may be structural issues or damage that your roofer won't be able to see without getting all the old shingles out of the way.
Choosing a contractor is like choosing a significant other--you should never go with the first one to flash you a toothy smile and pay you a compliment. Okay, maybe it's not exactly the same, but you should shop around.
Roofing scams abound and these companies often pop up after storms that may have been strong enough to cause roof damage. Be sure to thoroughly check the contractor's credentials. Look for online reviews and try to talk with past customers before deciding on a company.
You should also ensure that the company has the proper insurance in place. In fact, to fully protect yourself, you should request a letter from the contractor's insurance company verifying they have the appropriate insurance.
Without the right insurance, you could end up with some serious problems if one of the workers is injured on your property.
The warranty is also an important piece of the puzzle that you should pay close attention to. Roofs are expensive and you're making a huge investment.
Defective materials shouldn't end up being your problem. After all, that's why you're paying professionals to handle it. But make sure your new roof comes with a good warranty otherwise they could end up being your problem.
Warranties vary so just be sure to understand what is and isn't covered. Also some things, like not getting a building permit, can void your warranty.
Always, always, always read the fine print. We know, going through the contract with a fine-toothed comb isn't your idea of a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But just think about how many hours you would have to work to pay for a roofing blunder.
A thorough read-through doesn't sound so bad now does it?
There is some good news in all of this. In some cases, your homeowner's insurance may help pay the cost of a new roof.
This most often happens when your roof is damaged by something other than age/normal wear and tear. This would include things like storm damage or a fire.
Just don't set fire to an old roof in an attempt to get the insurance company to help pay. It's illegal, morally wrong, and you could get into a lot of trouble.
If the damage includes items in your home, like furniture or clothing, you may be able to get money for that as well. Plus, if the damage is extensive enough that you have to move out temporarily, insurance may help with those living expenses.
Our final thing to know is one that most people probably won't think about. After all, the average homeowner doesn't know what a typical roof replacement includes.
After a roof replacement, especially if you had to tear off your old roof, there are probably a BILLION nails in your yard. Okay, maybe not a billion, but a lot.
A good contractor will come around with a rolling magnet and canvas the entire area to clean up all the nails. If your contractor comes for the final payment and has "forgotten" this little detail, gently remind him before handing over the cash.
You don't want to deal the with the headache of having nails in your tires (or your feet!) because the contractor missed this step.
Bet you didn't know there were so many things to know before replacing a roof. Keep these things in mind before you pay out any money or sign any contracts. This will ensure that you protect yourself and get a quality new roof in the process.
For more information or to request a quote, be sure to contact us today! We are happy to help with all your roofing needs.