Keeping Your Roof in Shape
Owning a home is a privilege that comes with a lot of responsibilities. Among those responsibilities is making sure all the major components are in good condition, in proper working order, when repairs or replacement are needed. Like the roof – when is a new roof installation needed?
Knowing the indicators of when roof replacement or repair is the better option for your home is important. A repair would be the less expensive way to go, but if it is beyond repair, then a new roof installation is needed. What are those indicators?
Of course, if there is a huge hole in the roof, or you notice water stains on the ceiling, then yes, a new roof installation is necessary. Sometimes though, the indicators aren’t that obvious in passing. This requires doing a walk around your home and looking for the following.
Damaged or Missing Shingles
What may seem like a heavy thunderstorm to you could count as pretty extreme weather. This can directly affect your roof’s condition without your noticing anything is different if you don’t go and look. Even typical winter ice and snow can be devastating to a roof. Ice and snow get heavy as it accumulates, applying a lot of pressure on the shingles. As they melt, the water will seep under the shingles, refreeze and expand, causing shingle deterioration. This in addition to the extra weight will weaken the roof structure.
Additionally, ice dams form along the roof’s bottom edge, trapping water on the roof. Ultimately, this forces the water inside the attic through leaks that have formed under the shingles. Slowly melting ice can pull the flashing and gutters off too. Then you need a new roof installation along with gutter and downspout replacement and repair or replacement for the fascia and soffit.
Gutter cleaning is not a job anyone likes to do but to keep your roof in check, it is necessary. A gutter run or downspouts with an abundance of small granular particle accumulation is an indicator your shingles are going bald. This happens due to heavy rains, ice, or snow on a roof that has been beaten by the hot South Texas sun.
When you don’t keep a regular gutter cleaning schedule, these asphalt shingle granules get trapped and accumulate, keeping the melting ice and snow, or the rainwater, from flowing properly to the downspouts. Then that water spills over the edge of the gutters, pools up around the foundation, and eventually, you not only need a new roof installation, but you’ll likely also need foundation repairs too.
Nothing will last forever, and that includes the roof on your home. All the maintenance and upkeep will help it last longer, but in time, typically between 20 and 25 years, it will need to be replaced. The older a roof gets, the less efficient it is working for you, so having a professional inspection every two to five years is suggested. Should the roofing contractor notice any issues, they can hopefully make repairs, or they may recommend a new roof installation.
Why do roofs need to be replaced?
Because most homeowners do not have a spare $10,000 to $20,000 laying around, they wait for the number one reason to get a new roof installation: the ability to make a storm damage insurance claim. So, on to the bigger question – is roof replacement covered by insurance? Yes and no. Whether a roof is covered will all depend on factors like the existing condition and age of the roof when the storm damage happened.
If the insurance adjuster declares that prior to the storm damage, the roof was not maintained by the owner – meaning, you should have had a new roof installation sooner – they will decline your roof claim. Or if they say the roof was at its end of life, they will decline the claim. It will also depend on the type of homeowner’s insurance policy you have: ACV – actual cash value, or RCV – replacement cost value.
Aside from the question of “who’s going to pay for this new roof installation”, there are other new roof replacement benefits for a homeowner to consider that may encourage you to go ahead and invest in a roof replacement:
- Increased home value
- Keeping up your homeowner’s insurance coverage
- Improved energy efficiency
- Improvement of your home air quality
- Overall aesthetics
How long does roof installation take?
An average one-story home with 1200 to 1500 square feet can take eight hours. For homes with larger square footage or multiple stories, it can take two days to complete a roof installation.
What is the cheapest way to replace a roof?
Basic asphalt shingles are the cheapest roof installation material. However, with the asphalt shingles available today, there are still different roof replacement options with the type of asphalt shingles to choose from.
- 3-tab asphalt shingles are the least expensive, making them ideal for those with a lean budget or if it’s coming entirely out of your own pocket. This is why they are found on most homes. As other asphalt shingles become more cost-effective, these are eventually going to be used much more scarcely.
- Dimensional asphalt shingles are becoming more common today, slowly replacing the 3-tab shingles described above. They have a higher cost, approximately 15% more, but have a longer lifespan with a better warranty.
- Luxury asphalt shingles are the most expensive of all asphalt shingle types, being as much as double the cost of dimensional shingles. They have a different aesthetic appeal and are popular on higher-end properties. These are typically the minimum accepted for new roof installations for homes in an HOA setting.
What does roof replacement include?
A roof replacement will include tearing everything off the existing roof, down to the decking. This includes the shingles, underlayment, roofing felt, and if there is any damage, the decking will be replaced too.
Some homeowners trying to save money will ask for new shingles to be installed over their existing roof. There are contractors that will not do that because of their liability, as some roofing material manufacturers will void the warranty, and some municipalities will not permit shingle over shingle roof installation.
Final Comment – The Timing of It All
So you’ve decided to go ahead and get a roof replacement. That leads to one final question. What is the best month to replace a roof? Roofing contractors in Texas are their busiest in the late spring and early summer. However, the labor teams for most roofing contractors prefer the fall season for new roof installation because the weather is cooler and typically more stable.