Having a new roof installed is a big investment. You want to know why you need a new roof, to understand the installation process, to know you are buying the right product, and to know how to maintain the new roof properly.
1. Useful life: Ask if your existing roof has reached the end of its useful life. You can tell by looking at a roof how much time it has left. When you notice missing shingles, shingles with the edges curled up, or even broken pieces of shingles on the ground, it typically means that they are no longer up to the task of protecting your home and need to be replaced.
There are other ways to tell if a roof is aging. Be sure to have the roofing company show you where your roof is worn and how they know it is time to replace it.
2. Water damage: Roofs that have gone too long without being repaired or replaced are likely to have water damage. Ask the roofing company if they noticed any water damage when they examined your roof. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, when water infiltrates your home, it can lead to mold growth in as little as 24 hours.
Not only do you need to make sure that the source of the original leak is repaired, but you also need to check for and resolve any outstanding mold issues. Everything needs to be resolved in order to prevent future damage.
3. Re-roof: Ask if you can re-roof your house. This simply means that new asphalt shingles can go directly over the top of the old, existing asphalt shingles. Depending on your county's requirements, you can safely lay new shingles over one to two layers of existing shingles. This saves the roofing company in both time on the job and in labor costs, which would mean that your new roof could cost less.
4. Complete tear-off: Ask if you need a complete tear-off. The roofing company may be required to remove all the existing shingles and roofing felt from your roof before they can start work. This could be due to several reasons, including having two to three layers of existing shingles, having shingles that are broken and crumbling due to excessive age, or having water damaged plywood underlayment.
You need to start with a solid foundation before applying new asphalt shingles on your roof. In fact, the quality of the installation is a factor in how long any roof will last.
5. Life expectancy: Choosing your new shingles is more about quality than it is about color. While it may be fun to pick out a new color for your asphalt shingles, like blue or green, it is important to understand that there are several grades of shingle products and you need to pick the one that is best suited for your environment.
Weather plays a huge factor in the life of your roof. Asphalt shingles typically last 20 years if they are of decent quality, but rain, wind, snow, ice, intense heat, UV rays, and even salt spray can all take their toll. Buying shingles meant to battle the weather in your area is important. Ask what their life expectancy is for your new shingles and what your options are.
6. Maintenance: Once your new roof is installed, make sure you know how to maintain it properly to ensure you get the maximum amount of usage out of it. You will want to trim back any tree branches that rub on your roof and remove any debris when it falls on your roof. If you have a mildew problem due to heavy shade, talk to your roofing services company about how to combat the mildew and protect your roof.
Getting a new roof is a big expense, but understanding the why and how will help you take better care of your new roof for years to come.
For more information, contact a local roofing service today.