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Replacing Your Roof

12 Things to Consider Before Replacing Your Roof

With the typical homeowner spending over $6,000 each year on home improvements, you might be thinking it’s time to jump in. After all, a well-maintained home will add curb appeal and hold its value. And home maintenance includes investing in a better roof.

But how do you know when it’s time to ditch your current roof for a better one? You may need to look closely to spot the symptoms — and a failing roof could lead to other structural repairs. Keep reading to learn about 12 things you should consider before replacing your roof!

1. Curled Shingles Indicate Roof Issues

While curled shingles might not seem like a big deal, they can indicate problems beneath the surface. Your roof decking might be water damaged. Or you might need better venting in your attic to prevent moisture from building up.

Your best bet is to investigate the underlying cause before attaching new shingles. A roofing contractor can help pinpoint whether the original roofer didn’t use enough nails on the shingles — or you have bigger issues.

2. Look for Nails

When you look up and see exposed nails on your roof, they could signal that a roof replacement is in your future. You may also have an underlying ventilation problem in your attic that’s forcing the nails out of place.

3. Roof Cement Is a Warning Sign

When the shingles on your roof hit a chimney or another part of your home, metal flashing is what should fill the gap. It’s made of steel or aluminum, and it’s meant to keep leaks from rainstorms out of your home. But if you look up and see cement, it might be time to call a roofer.

While cement can keep out water initially, it will form cracks. If the cement on your roof looks old, cracked, or messy, it’s probably not doing its job.

4. Recent Storms May Force Roof Maintenance

Did a wave of severe summer storms pass through town? If your roof has faced high winds or hail damage, you may be able to get a free inspection to determine whether roof replacement is necessary. Hail can knock the granules off your asphalt shingles, and this sets your roof up for sun damage and decay.

5. Explore the Possibility of Roof Repair

Before you get rid of your existing roof, work with a roofing contractor to see if a repair is possible. For example, patchy areas of damaged shingles can be replaced. And if your roof has another decade or so of life left in it, a repair makes a lot of sense.

6. Know the Difference Between Stripping and Layering

While layering a new coat of shingles over an old coat is cheaper, it’s not necessarily the best route to go. You’re better off stripping the existing roof and starting over so you don’t overlook leaks or structural issues beneath the roof. And if that sounds like a hassle, a good roofing contractor can take care of the job for you!

7. Investigate New Roof Materials

Rather than going with the same type of roof you had before, check out other roofing styles and colors that might spruce up your home. Asphalt offers a variety of colors, but metal roofing provides a modern update that’s weather-resistant.

Check out wood shingles and shake, as well as synthetic products. And, of course, ask your roofer about price differences and maintenance requirements.


8. Evaluate the Roof Frame

If you’re going to the trouble of replacing your roof, make sure you check your roof frame for signs of leaks, too. For example, your roofer might notice a rusted vent flashing when they evaluate the structure. This could mean you need to get a vent replacement.

9. Repair Dormers During Roof Replacement

Dormer roofs and walls add light to upstairs spaces and curb appeal to your property. But they also provide easy access for rainwater to cause leaks. If the caulking around these areas has cracked, there’s a good chance moisture is entering your home.

Take advantage of a roof replacement to seal any cracks. While you’re at it, replace siding around these walls that is rotting or warped. And ask your roofer to ensure that the flashing is properly attached. 

10. Use the Best Roofing Contractor

When it comes to home maintenance, you want your money to go to experienced and skilled contractors. Make a point of getting free quotes and asking for referrals from local contractors. And be clear on what’s included in your contract. 

It should stipulate the labor price as well as the materials price. Check to see that your potential roofer is licensed and insured, too, in case of injuries during the roof installation.

11. Ask About the Disposal Processes

Where do the old shingles and roofing materials go? It’s fair to ask a roofing contractor whether that’s something they will handle before you sign a contract. If it’s your responsibility, you’ll need to rent a dumpster or haul shingles to a nearby landfill.

You may be able to recycle some shingles at a facility if they fit the facility’s criteria. And you might be able to sell some to fellow homeowners on local platforms, too.

12. Know the Age of Your Roof

Finally, if you’re on the fence about getting a new roof, just look up its age. Most asphalt roofs should last up to 30 years. If yours is at or past that number, it is probably more cost-effective to invest in a new roof than it is to patch an existing one.

Consider Replacing Your Roof

Replacing your roof is a critical part of maintaining a safe and attractive home. You’ll provide an instant facelift to your curb appeal and help seal off your home from water leaks. Look for the telltale signs of curling shingles, visible nails, or interior leaks, and address other structural issues during a roof replacement. 

When you’re ready to get an expertly-installed new roof, contact us and we can help!