Roof Replacement: What Every Homeowner Should Know
Sooner or later, every homeowner is likely to face the need for roof replacement.
Stay Dry Roofing specializes in residential and commercial roof replacement and help you through your project by honestly walking you through the process.
Sometimes the need for a roof replacement in Indianapolis arrives suddenly. A tree may fall on the roof, or the high winds of a tornado or hurricane can strip it away. We’ve all seen photos of homes left in the wake of violent storms like Katrina and Irma with tarps covering the holes where their roofs used to be.
Even if your home is spared such a disaster, though, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that every roof deteriorates over time. Rain, snow, and even sunlight take their toll. As we have all these in our area, roof replacement in Indianapolis is a necessity.
On average, a properly constructed roof lasts 15 to 25 years, with the use of more or less resilient materials and the particular weather conditions in the area nudging the needle in one direction or the other. Stay Dry roofing uses high quality products like GAF and are a certified Weather Stopper Roofing Contractor. Make sure your local roofing contractor in Indianapolis uses quality materials and are licensed, bonded , and insured.
Do you have a leaky roof and are in need of a roof replacement?
How important is roof repair?
If your roof is open to the outside world, animals and insects can get in, damage your property, and turn your house in an unpleasant and unsanitary environment. You may well need to call an exterminator to get rid of them, and then, of course, if you haven’t yet accomplished roof repair or roof replacement, a fresh wave of unwelcome creatures is likely to invade your home in due course.
Even more seriously, a roof protects everything underneath it, and a damaged roof protects it poorly. Dripping water and dampness can damage virtually everything inside the house. They can promote the growth of toxic mold, warp floors, and rot walls. Such damage can be happening even if it isn’t yet apparent, and it can progress swiftly if you don’t undertake roof replacement or repair quickly.
A new roof may simply look better and make the house more appealing to potential buyers.
Roof replacement can also increase energy efficiency. Even the most modern doors and windows can only do so much if the roof allows a significant exchange of heat with the outside world. Thus, potential buyers who want to their minimize heating and air-conditioning bills or lessen their impact on the environment are likely to consider the house more favorably if it has the new cool-roof technology.
A seller may even find that it’s impossible to sell the house until any problems with the roof have been corrected. This is likely to be the case even if there are as yet no visible signs for potential buyers to notice. Every home sale requires a home inspection, the inspector will almost certainly recognize that the roof is defective, and once that happens, the sale cannot go through.
How can you evaluate the condition of your roof?
Leaks inside the house reveal an obvious problem. But even if there aren’t any, it’s worth checking your roof occasionally to catch developing problems.
A trained professional inspecting a roof may discover problems that someone less knowledgeable would overlook. Still, you can make a basic and useful assessment.
Check for shingles (if you have them.)
Look for shingles with curling edges, cracked or brittle shingles, and places where shingles have fallen away entirely. Also check for gaps that expose the mat, the protective layer underneath the shingles.Look for sagging gutters.
These are typically the result of the gutter getting clogged with debris.
Check for damaged soffits.
Soffits are a feature that helps ventilate attic space. Soffit damage often results from damaged shingles, loose flashing, and ice dams and can cause water to pool on a roof.
Look for insects around the damaged spot. They may well be nesting there.
Look for loose flashing.
The flashing around chimneys and skylights can come loose in a windstorm. Recurring changes in the temperature can loosen it as well.
Happily, not every problem requires roof replacement. Sometimes spot repair will take care of it just fine.
Sometimes you can simply replace a couple damaged shingles with new ones. You may be able to deal with sagging gutters by replacing the section of gutter or simply re-securing the mounts.
Sometimes, though, for example, when there’s extensive leaking, or considerable obvious damage, roof replacement is required.
You may also opt for roof replacement simply because you know a roof is old and it’s inevitable that you’ll need to replace it soon. In that case, why not do it now, before its deterioration can cause any serious problems in your home?
What Is Roof Replacement?
Roof replacement is a multi-step process that will vary somewhat depending on the particular house and the particular roof being installed. A typical roof replacement in Indianapolis involving a shingled roof might go like this:
The roofers begin roof replacement by removing the existing shingles, put them in a roll-off, and dispose of them.
They then make repairs to the underlying structure. If it’s in good condition, the repairs can be minor. If it’s not in good condition, they replace bad wood with new boards or plywood, whichever is appropriate for the particular roof.
Next, they install ice-dam protection. This is a barrier of synthetic material that prevents backed-up ice in the gutters. It makes sure ice-melt will drain away as it should and not get under the roof.
They then lay down asphalt paper.
With that accomplished, they apply the new shingles. They start at the eaves and work up.
They then apply flashing against the stack vents, chimney, and anyplace else where water might otherwise leak into the house.
Finally, they install the ridge vent at the peak of the house’s sloped roof. A ridge vent lets warm, damp air escape from the attic and so increases the energy efficiency of the house while extending the life of the roof. With it in place, the roof replacement is complete.
What Does Roof Replacement Cost?
The average homeowner spends around $7500 – $12,000 to replace a roof. This varies somewhat depending on the part of the country you live in. Denver, for example, is higher than the national average, and Austin is lower. The price also depends on a number of other factors. These include the following.
Materials for Roof Replacement
There are a number of materials available for roof replacement. These vary as to their price, durability, and other factors.
Asphalt Composition Shingles are relatively cheap and easy to get. They do, however, have a “flat” appearance that may make you fell they’re less attractive than some of the other options.
Wood Shake Shingles look nice. They’re somewhat expensive, though, and have the drawback that they can be used on steeper-pitched roofs but not lower-pitched ones. An all-natural material, they’re also high maintenance, tend to deteriorate more quickly than some other options, are vulnerable to fire, and can be attractive to invasive insects and mold.
Metal Roofing is one of the more expensive options, but it’s also resistant to many of the problems the beset other roofs. Barring accidents, you can expect it to last quite a while. It’s still relatively new, and thus, not every roofing company knows how to install it properly.
Slate Roofing is durable and generally considered quite attractive and is one of the more expensive options. It’s slippery to walk on, so if you get it and then go out on your roof, be careful.
Tile Roofing has the advantage that damaged tiles are easy to replace. Roofers can form it into custom colors and shapes.
Rubber Slate, also known as Faux Slate. This is a recycled post-industrial synthetic.
Roof Size Calculator
The bigger the roof area, the more roof replacement will cost. The most accurate way to obtain accurate roof measurements is for someone (you, a friend more comfortable with heights, or a roofing professional) to climb out on the roof and take them. Then you’ll need to calculate area using some basic geometry or use this handy roofing calculator from Home Advisor.
A gabled roof (one where only two opposites slope downward and there are no dormers or other such features) is relatively easy to measure. Just measure the width and length of each side, multiply the width by the length of each side, and add the two totals together.
Hipped roof are more difficult because they have downward slopes all around the house. This means there are no definitive square sections. The shorter sides are triangular, and the longer ones are trapezoidal. You can find the area of a triangle by multiplying the base by the height and dividing the total in half. You can find the approximate area of a trapezoid by dividing it into a rectangle and two triangles, determining the area of each, and adding the sums together. It’s more accurate, though, to measure the two parallel sides (the bases), divide the result by two, and then multiply that by the height of the trapezoid.
When it comes to measurement, domed roofs are the most difficult of all. If it’s a basic spherical (non-ellipsoid) dome, multiply the radius of the base times itself, multiply the height times itself, and add the two totals together. Then multiply the result by 3.14 (pi.)
Measure for features like dormers separately.
Don’t adjust for flashing, skylights, and similar features. They generally don’t account for enough area to throw off your calculations to a significant degree.
If it’s not safe, comfortable, or otherwise practical for anyone to go out on your roof and measure, you can also measure from the ground, although this option is less accurate.
Start by measuring the house’s footprint including eaves and other overhangs. You may need to hang a plumb-bob from the edge of an overhang and mark where it touches the ground. Next, measure to the exterior wall of the house. This will enable you to calculate the length of he overhang. Then determine its square, divide by 100, and round up.
Once you know the area of your roof, you can figure out how much roofing material you’ll need.
Roofing material comes in “squares.” Each square equals 100 square feet. Because roofers need to cover such large areas, it wouldn’t be efficient for them to deal in lots smaller than this.
The roof pitch is the roof angle’s steepness over a 12-inch run. To determine this, start by measuring 12 inches up from the roof’s lower edge. Then use a level and find the number of inches from the suspended end of the level to the roof. That gives you the pitch, commonly expressed as X in 12 where X equals the distance to the surface.
The roof pitch yields a value that affects your other calculations.
If the pitch is 2 x 12, multiply by 11.02.
If it’s 3 x 12, multiply by 1.134.
If it’s 4 x 12, multiply by 1.159.
If it’s 5 x 12, multiply by 1.191.
If it’s 6 x 12, multiply by 1.230.
If it’s 7 x 12, multiply by 1.274.
If it’s 8 x 12, multiply by 1.322.
If it’s 9 x 12, multiply by 1.375.
If it’s 10 x 12, multiply by 1.432.
If it’s 11 x 12, multiply by 1.493.
If it’s 12 x 12, multiply by 1.554.
The height of a roof is its height from its base to its peak. This matters because extremely high roofs are a more hazardous workspace where materials can easily slide around. Thus, high roofs increase difficulty, time, and cost.
To determine roof height, multiply the width of the roof including overhangs by the pitch expressed as a fraction. 4 x 12, for example, would be 4/12. You’ll make the calculation easier by converting the fraction into a decimal. In our example, 4/12 equates to .33.
Water damage can increase the cost of a roofing job. Unfortunately, it, or the extent of it, sometimes doesn’t become apparent until roofers start removing shingles and inspect the deck beneath.
Depending on where you live, it may be necessary to obtain permits. This can add as much as several hundred dollars to the cost.
The building codes in your area may require measures that add significantly to the cost of roof replacement. For example, it could be necessary to remove, relocate, repair, or upgrade electrical, plumbing, or other systems associated with the roof to bring them into compliance with current codes.
Complexity of the Structure
It’s more difficult and time-consuming to install a new roof on a house with a lot of skylights, chimneys, or what have you. This results in somewhat higher costs.
There can be other costs as well, possibly including tests and removal for hazardous materials and sales tax.
Roof Replacement Costs Calculator
To obtain a rough-and-ready estimate of the cost to replace your roof, use the calculator below.
Please note that the calculator doesn’t take every variable into account. Because every roof and house is different, it can’t, and as a result, a roofing company may give you an estimate significantly different than the one you calculated. Still, the one you figure here can yield information that will help you start planning what you want to do.
How to Save Money on Roof Replacement
As noted above, the average cost of roof replacement in the US is $7500, and depending on the size of the house, the materials selected, and other factors, it can run a lot higher than that. Here are some tips to make the job as affordable as possible.
Check if your insurance company will pay.
Your homeowner’s insurance may cover part or all of the cost of roof replacement. Your specific policy will tell you what’s covered and to what extent, but as a general rule, you’re insured for damage that isn’t the result of neglect. For example, if a windstorm blows a tree down on your roof. If you insurance company will pay, here is a roofing process infographic to explain further.
Time the job properly
That’s if you have the option. Sometimes roof replacement is clearly urgent and needs to happen as soon as possible.
But if your damaged roof isn’t yet producing other significant problems, it’s worth knowing that roofers tend to be busiest in late summer or fall. If you schedule your roof replacement for another time, like late winter or spring, you may be eligible for an off-season discount.
Get multiple quotes
Roofing companies vary in their prices just like other prices. Find a good deal for your roof replacement, but be wary of deals that seem too good to be true because it’s possible they are. The company may be able to offer that “bargain” because they do inferior work with inferior materials.
Know what you want before you ask for estimates
Exploring the possibilities for roof replacement and deciding on what you want will help keep estimates consistent and make it possible for you to compare them. One contractor won’t give you a quote for asphalt shingles while a second one quotes for wood shake shingles. Locking down the details beforehand also encourages competitive pricing.
Ask about an overlay
Sometimes it’s possible to accomplish roof replacement simply by putting a new layer of roofing on top of what’s already there. This requires fewer labor hours and thus reduces your cost.
But that kind of roof replacement isn’t always possible. Multiple layers of roofing can make the roof too heavy for the underlying framing. This issue is particularly prevalent in older houses.
Using an overlay for roof replacement can also result in telegraphing. This term refers to the fact that the new surface can end up with some of the same waves, bubbles, and bumps it’s covering up. That can make it look bad, although roofers can sometimes minimize the problem by going over the old roof and dealing with obvious issues like gaps and protruding nails.
Even when an overlay is possible, it isn’t necessarily advisable. This kind of roof replacement can void manufacturer warranties on materials. It can also increase the cost of future roof replacement on the day when the old roofing does have to go and there are more layers that need to be stripped away.
Do It Yourself?
Well, theoretically, perhaps you could. Before going this route, though, you should consider carefully.
A professional roofing team typically takes 3-4 days to complete a straightforward roof replacement of average size. Larger and more complicated jobs take longer. You and your helpers (if any) aren’t likely to make progress as quickly, How much time do you have to devote to the project?
Even if you do have the time, another factor comes into play. Partially installed areas need to be completely dry before the installation of covering layers. Thus, wet weather can delay the completion of a job. By working as quickly as they do, professionals minimize this problem and take maximum advantage of dry periods.
You should also recognize the possibility that you’ll forget to order something you need or the materials won’t arrive on time. This too will extend the time it takes to finish the roof replacement. In contrast, a professional roofing company shouldn’t have this problem.
The most important consideration may be that, even if you’re handy, you probably don’t have the expertise of experienced professional roofers. You can be confident they’ll do a good job, and if there are problems, they’ll correct them. You won’t be left regretting your own mistakes and paying to fix them yourself.
How to Choose a Roofing Company
As noted above, you’ll want to ask for estimates from several roofing contractors to get the best deal. The National Roofing Contractors Association highly recommends that you check to make sure a company’s workers are licensed and insured. A firm should be able to show you roofer’s proof of insurance.
Also check a company’s online reviews. You want a contractor with a solid reputation.
A roofer should pay attention to what you want and suggest alternatives and solutions to problems where appropriate. He should be willing and able to answer any questions you have and explain any recommendations. He should, for example, be able to explain why spot repairs won’t suffice and roof replacement is necessary. He should be able to tell you why an overlay is or isn’t a good approach for your particular home.
Stay Dry Roofing takes pride in providing customers with the best possible experience when seeking quotes (and afterward as well.) We offer no-obligation quotes and financing options that include, in some cases, 0% financing with approved credit. If you’d like to read more about our excellent customer service, you can find that here.