5 Common First-Time Roof Replacement Questions

One of the beautiful, yet scary, things about being a homeowner is accepting that no matter how long you own a home, there will always be firsts. From water heater replacement to roof replacement, your home is a never-ending project. However, most homeowners would agree that it’s life’s greatest project.

As your home ages and faces the Midwest’s unapologetic, extreme climate, your roof goes through a lot. And as your home’s main defense against water intrusion, it is crucial for your roof to always be at its peak performance. We work with many homeowners replacing their roof for the first time and these are the 5 most common first-time roof replacement questions we answer.

Can We Just Repair The Roof?

When it comes down to it, the decision to repair or replace depends on the severity of damage and unique condition of your roof.

For example, if a bad thunderstorm comes through and only damages a small section of your roof, it is likely that only a repair is needed. However, if your roof’s material is past its life expectancy and there are multiple leaks throughout the entire roof, it is likely an entire replacement is needed. In some cases, an entire roof replacement is actually cheaper than trying to repair multiple issues.

How Long Will My New Roof Last?

Replacing a roof isn’t something a homeowner wants to do countless times in their lifetime, so it’s not surprising that nearly all of our customers ask how long their new roof will last. When it comes to longevity, it depends on the material.

  • Asphalt: 25 Years
  • Steel: 40-80 Years
  • Wood Shakes: 30 Years
  • Slate: 60-150 Years
  • Rubber: 15-25 Years

In our area, it’s important to be aware of the stress the extreme climate puts on our roofs. This reality makes it crucial to replace your roof at the end of its life cycle.

Will A New Roof Add Value To My Home?

While it may not add a specific dollar amount to your home’s value, a new roof can dramatically strengthen the marketability of your home. This strength in marketability could be the determining factor in whether or not your home sells for the best price and avoids any price reductions.

Can You Install The New Roof Over The Existing One?

Although local building codes do allow a 2nd layer of asphalt to be installed over an existing one, we never recommend installing a new roof over old shingles. Why? Installing new material over existing:

  1. Significantly reduces the life of the new roof.
  2. Significantly reduces your warranty coverage.
  3. Creates rot issues (trapped moisture between layers)
  4. Inhibits our ability to access the current condition of your roof decking and the structural support underneath it.
  5. Fails to comply with ice barrier codes in our region.

If you are looking to install steel roofing over existing asphalt shingles, purlins must be built up for a level surface and your roof would still fail to comply with ice barrier codes.

Can We Install A New Roofing Material?

Absolutely! Although asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material used in this part of the country, there are several additional options available.

Standing seam metal roofing is becoming increasingly popular, but if you prefer the look of shingles, several companies now make granite coated metal panels. These panels are designed to give the appearance of traditional shingles but are much more durable.

Cedar shakes are another material increasing in popularity, particularly due to how well it pairs with copper accessories. They even make asphalt shingles on an SBS modified rubber mat, versus a fiberglass mat, which makes the shingles heavier, more malleable, and a better option for hail prone areas.

First-time roof replacement can seem daunting and stressful. However, with the right information and proper communication with your roofing contractor, it shouldn’t be.

Contact us with any questions you may have and make sure to check out our various roofing packages.