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A Guide to the Fundamentals of Roof Replacement

You rely on your roof to protect you from the elements. When your roof is no longer able to do so, it’s time for a professional roofing company to replace it and give you peace of mind.

What are the roof replacement fundamentals that contractors focus on during every project? The experts at A1 Home Improvement explain the roof replacement process, including its most important components, in this helpful guide. Reach out to our team if you need professional help with a roofing project. 

Signs You Need a New Roof

How can you tell when you’re due for a new roof? The following signs indicate that it’s time to call roofing contractors for a replacement:

  • Curled or missing shingles: Damaged shingles that crack, curl, or fall off the roof leave the house exposed to harsh weather elements. 
  • Loose granules: The small granules that protect asphalt shingles should not become loose. If they fall off and collect in your gutter or yard, you’ll have to replace the roof. 
  • Water stains in the ceiling: Look out for water stains in your attic, which indicate a weak, leaky roof. 
  • The roof is decades old: Depending on the roofing material and damage, you may need to replace the structure after 20 years. 

Contact a local roofing company if you spot any of these signs. They can assess the condition of the structure, review the roof replacement fundamentals, and discuss roof replacement costs in 2023 so that you’re prepared. 

Basic Roof Replacement Guide – How Experts Complete the Process 

Every roof replacement is different, but the process often follows the same set of steps. Below is a breakdown of what you should know about a roof replacement where asphalt shingles are the primary material: 

  • Contractors tear off existing shingles and flashings. 
  • They then replace plywood sheathing beneath the roofing materials. 
  • Crews take action to prevent water damage or ice dam formation by applying protective barriers.
  • They install shingles from the bottom of the roof toward the top. 
  • Flashings are placed along vents, the chimney, and features like skylights. 
  • A final inspection takes place to ensure the roof’s safety. 

Understanding Roof Replacement Fundamentals

Not all roofing systems are the same. They can differ in complexity, material, roofing design, and more. Roofers keep all of this in mind when launching a replacement project since it can determine the cost and timeline of the construction. 

Discover the important fundamentals of roof replacement below and how they impact you. 

Roofing Materials

Your most crucial decision when replacing your roof involves the material you want to install. This choice determines the cost of the project, the lifespan of your roof, and even the energy efficiency of your home going forward. For example, architectural asphalt shingles are cost-effective compared to slate or metal roofing systems but do not last as long. 

If you’re looking for a roof that can withstand all types of extreme weather and improve your home’s energy efficiency, metal roofing may be the best option. The material has reflective properties that block the sun’s harmful rays, while shingles can fade over time with consistent sun exposure. Metal roofing is also desirable because it’s sturdy enough to hold the weight of heavy snow or ice and can last twice as long as asphalt roofs. 

An environmentally friendly option that works specifically for flat roofs is a green roof. This design features a waterproof membrane roofing material with soil and vegetation on top to provide a number of benefits, including:

  • Stormwater management
  • Biodiversity
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Increased roof longevity

Roof Complexity 

Does your roof have multiple hills and valleys? Do you have a skylight or two that allows light to come in from up above? Is your roof surrounded by large trees or shrubbery that makes it hard to access?

All of these factors contribute to the roof’s complexity. The more complex the project, the harder it becomes for contractors to tear off old materials and install a new roof. The total process may take longer to complete and, therefore, increase the final cost of roof replacement because these projects require more labor than roofs with a straightforward design.

One of today’s most important roof replacement fundamentals is solar panels. One in four homeowners want to reap the money and energy savings that come with solar rooftops and plan to install panels in the coming years. If you currently have solar panels or wish to install them, this also impacts the complexity of your project. 

Complete Tear-Off vs. Installing Shingling Over Existing Shingles

Roofers must assess the condition of the structure and determine if it’s best to tear off all the existing material or install new material over it. The cost of a roof replacement can be lower when crews install additional layers of asphalt shingles because it reduces the labor of removing the old shingles. 

However, this option is not always ideal. The roof may not be able to accommodate the weight of several layers of shingles. This could cause structural problems such as roof sagging and require repairs in the future. 

Many roofers recommend tearing off the existing shingles before moving forward. This allows them to evaluate the condition of the underlayment and correct problems like bubbles, gaps, or protruding nails. A tear-off may also be necessary to keep the manufacturer’s warranty valid. 

Consult With Experts About Your Roof Replacement

Now that you know the roof replacement fundamentals that play a huge part in every project, reach out to local roofers who can help you understand the process. Whether you want to use asphalt shingles or metal roofing, the cost of a roof replacement will vary, as will the lifespan of the materials. Understanding the role of materials and other roof replacement fundamentals will make the project simpler. 

Contact the experts at A1 Home Improvement if you need a new roof. We’ll review all the options with you and explain how these critical components impact the project. Call us at (860) 530-6195 or submit our online request form to receive a free quote for any roofing project. 

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