Most roofs aren’t built to last forever—and at some point, you’ll need to replace them. For the handy homeowner, this may seem like a task you want to tackle independently. However, for any less DIY-friendly homeowners, consider hiring a reputable roofing contractor to get the job done.
But either way, there are some great roof replacement tips for when you’re preparing to get a new roof. Today we’ll go over what you can do to safely, efficiently, and properly replace your roof.
1. Note Any Signs of Leaks or Water Damage
Before replacing your roof, it’s vital to note any signs of water damage caused by leaks. If your roof was damaged or aged past its expected lifespan, it is more likely it was leaking. Signs of water damage can look like stains on the ceiling or attic floor, streaks on the roof deck, or streaks down your interior walls.
These leaks will likely be fixed once you replace your roof, but the interior water damage must also be addressed to ensure no mold grows inside—making a dangerous environment for you and your family.
2. Make Sure the Attic Is Well Ventilated
Your roof can protect your home from the elements—keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But if your attic isn’t well-ventilated, it can diminish the work your roof is trying to do.
Signs of a poorly ventilated attic include:
- Excessive moisture in the attic (which can also cause those water stains)
- Rusted fasteners and nails
- Flat or deteriorating insulation
To make your attic better ventilated, make sure you have enough roof, soffit, and even gable vents. These will help promote airflow throughout all sides of your attic. You can also use fans to help circulate even more air during high or low temperatures.
3. Make Necessary Repairs to the Roof Deck or Other Areas
Your roof deck is the very bottom layer of your roofing system, and without it, your roof won’t be sound. You might be able to see how your roof deck is from underneath, but you’ll get the best look after tearing off your existing roof.
Whether you are doing your own roof tear-off or hiring a contractor, be sure the roof deck gets inspected thoroughly before moving forward with the roof replacement. This is an opportunity to make any repairs or reinforcements to the roof deck before proceeding. It’s vital to make sure it’s in good condition before laying any materials on top. It’s the last line of defense against leaks into your home.
4. Never Do a Roof Layover
Technically, you could lay shingles over existing ones without removing them—but it’s a terrible idea. For your roof to work as it should and to prevent voiding any warranties, you should always tear off the old roof before replacing the new one. Laying a new roof on top of an old one can bring on several issues down the road and doesn’t make your roof as secure as it should be.
5. Research Roofing Materials and Manufacturers
There are many different types of roofing materials and even more brands and manufacturers, so researching the best in the industry, and finding what works for you, is essential to getting a roof that lasts. Just because you had an asphalt shingle roof before doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade to a more premium roofing material or different brand.
Roofing materials that last even longer than asphalt include:
- Cedar shakes
They have higher costs upfront but can last anywhere from 30 to 50 to 75 years! On top of that, some manufacturers offer incredible warranties, color options, premium materials, and more that make your investment even more worthwhile.
There are some definite top names in the industry. For example, we only use shingles from brands like GAF, Owens Corning, and James Hardie—you can’t wrong choosing any of those brands.
6. Hire a Reputable Contractor
If DIY roof replacement isn’t in the cards for you, then you must find a local, reputable contractor to get the job done. Of course, when you hire someone to work on your home, you want them to be trustworthy, highly skilled, and reliable—so you can get the roof that meets or exceeds your every expectation.
Some tips for choosing a good contractor include:
- Choosing a local contractor. Local contractors know the area, are close by, and can be there soon to make any repairs or adjustments, and aren’t fly-by-night storm chasers only in town for a quick buck.
- Reading through all of the reviews, even the bad ones. A good contractor will have a high star rating, yes, but also address and resolve issues where people didn’t have the best experience. Reading the bad reviews shows how they responded and reveals patterns that can be a red flag and one you shouldn’t hire.
- Finding one that is licensed, insured, and certified. A reputable contractor will have (and display) their proper licenses and insurance—that’s pretty standard. If that’s not the case, move along. They may also have manufacturer certifications that show they’ve done the proper training and education to be able to install their shingles to industry standards.
- Avoiding high-pressure sales tactics. A contractor who has dollar signs in their eyes will try to get the sale no matter what. This might be a red flag for many reasons. Maybe this contractor is desperate for money and scrambling to see the business. Or maybe they want to take your money, do a quick (poor) job, and leave. But most importantly, they don’t want to take the time to get to know you or your home and aren’t there for the right reasons.
- Be wary of contractors asking for full payment upfront before doing anything else. A trustworthy contractor stands by their work, and takes the time to inspect, design, and plan out the project in full—without asking you to pay for everything upfront. Also, if a contractor does this, they may not be getting you the best deal, and it may mean they need your money to purchase materials.
No matter what type of roof replacement you do, or even if you hire Dreamworx to do it for you, we hope that these roofing tips and roof replacement advice help make your roof replacement as seamless as possible—and make you feel more comfortable in your own home.
To get started on your total roof replacement, reach out to Dreamworx Exteriors today. Our highly skilled team is ready to help you get the roof you deserve, without any hassle to you.