How to know when it's time for roof replacement

How to Know When It’s Time for Roof Replacement

Roof Replacement Is Inevitable

The roof is an essential part of your house. It makes the house livable. (Without a roof, you might just as well be living outdoors, right?) It protects every part of the structure underneath and your possessions within from the elements that would otherwise damage them. It keeps out bugs and animals like squirrels and bats. It holds in the warm air that comes from your furnace to keep the house from getting chilly and to keep your utility bills down.

Unfortunately, every roof deteriorates in the face of weather and time. On average, an average shingle roof is good for 15 to 25 years, and then you need a new roof.

How to know when it's time for roof replacement

But despite the face that getting a new roof is necessary from time to time, some of us are inclined to put it

Why Do We Put Off Roof Replacement?

There are a couple reasons why homeowners put off getting a new roof.

One is roof replacement cost. New roof cost varies from one job to the next. Larger areas are more expensive to cover than smaller ones. The complexity of the space to be covered comes into your new roof estimate too. Features like gables and dormers can make the roofers’ job more complicated and increase the price. Then there’s the roofing material you choose. Shingles, tile, and metal vary in cost just as they vary in appearance, durability, and other variables. But whatever the details of your particular situation, you can expect roof replacement cost to be a considerable expense.

Homeowners may also balk at the hassle or the expectation of hassle. They begrudge the time required to find a reputable roofing company, choose a material, and negotiate price. They think the sound of roofers walking around overhead using their tools will prove to be annoying.

So it’s fairly common to put off roof replacement, possibly with some patchwork to tide you over in the meantime. But procrastination and patchwork will only get you so far. Here are three indicators that the time for roof replacement really is at hand.

Roof Replacement Indicator #1: The Roof is Over 20 Years Old

As mentioned above, in virtually all cases, the maximum lifespan of a roof is 25 years.  As that’s the maximum, many a roof won’t last that long. Accordingly, when you hit the 20-year mark, you should at least have a roofing company make an inspection even if there’s no visible damage. Be prepared for the bad news that yes, it is indeed time for a new roof.

Roof Replacement Indicator #1: Your Shingles Have Deteriorated

Naturally, to determine this, you (or somebody else, if you’re not physically capable of doing it safely or are uncomfortable with heights) will need to get up on the roof and take a good close look at the shingles. Homeowners should make such an inspection a couple times a year.

Are any shingles cracked or curled up at the edges? Are some cupped, buckling, or actually missing? Do you see moss growing on them?

Those are all warning signs that it’s time for a new roof. Of course, that may not be the case if you only see a couple defective shingles. In that case, you can probably get away with simply replacing them. But if the problem is more widespread, call a roofing company.

Roof Replacement Indicator #3: The Sun Is Shining In Where It Shouldn’t

Go up in the attic. Is the space brighter than it used to be? Can you actually see sunlight shining through the roof boards? If so, that’s a clear indication that you need a new roof.

You may be thinking that if you see light shining through gaps in the roof, of course you need a new one. But this indicator is worth mentioning because many homeowners don’t get up in the attic very often. It’s worth visiting and inspecting every part of your house every month to keep home repair issues from sneaking up on you.

When roof replacement is in the offing, we hope you’ll contact Stay Dry Roofing, the roofing repair and replacement experts. We provide free estimates and can handle any job in Indianapolis and through the Midwest.

Roof color in Indianapolis

What’s the Best Roof Color for Your Home?

Your New Roof Color

When it’s time for roof replacement at your Indianapolis home, or to decide on the specifics of a roof for a new house, roofing companies ask you to decide on a variety of options. One of these is the color. Whether you’re opting for roof singles, roof tiles, metal roofing, or some other roofing material, suppliers offer any number of choices.

With so many parameters to consider, color may seem like the least important. Your inclination may be to jump at the first one that looks good to you and let it go at that. But in fact, roof color warrants a little more thought. Specifically, you may want to think about the following.

Roof color in Indianapolis

Your New Roof Color: Points to Consider

How would this roof color complement (or clash with) the rest of the house?

 Colors can blend, or they can create contrast. More traditional (which is to say, blending) choices for roof color include black, gray, and brown. Lighter tan and reddish-brown hues tend to provide contrast. A mix of colors gives a staggered effect. Whichever way you go, it’s helpful to understand that certain combinations just naturally tend to go well together.

  • White, gray, blue, or yellow houses look good with gray or black roofs.
  • Red or yellow brick houses go well with brown, gray, or black roofs.
  • Stone and earth-tone vinyl siding look good paired with tan or brown.

Do you want a roof color that will make the house look bigger?

 A lighter color will do the trick, particularly if it blends with the siding.

What roof color goes with the architectural style of the house?

You may not be an architect and feel yourself woefully unqualified to make judgments about architectural style. But by driving around Indianapolis and looking at homes like yours, you can see what looks good and what doesn’t. It’s not hard to observe, for example, that Spanish-style houses often have reddish clay-colored roofs (and look good with them), traditional colonials look good with a single color, and ranch houses can look good with a combination of colors.

Do you want a roof color that makes a statement or something more low key?

The bolder and more distinctive your choice, the likelier it is that your house will catch the eye of every passerby. You have to decide if that’s what you want.

How will this roof color affect your cooling and heating costs?

As you probably remember from science class, lighter colors reflect heat. Thus a light roof color can help keep your air-conditioning bill down. Conversely, darker colors hold heat, and therefore a dark roof color can help with your heating costs.

What roof color (or colors) do the neighbors have?

You probably aren’t under any obligation to match your neighbors’ choices exactly. But it’s worth noting that a roof color radically different than any of theirs can make your home look peculiar and as if it doesn’t belong in the neighborhood.

Depending on where you live, your homeowners association may even have rules that place limits on your choice of roof color. It’s worth checking before you proceed with a choice you don’t see reflected in any of the houses around you.

Is the roof color you like actually available in roof shingles, metal roofing, roof tiles, or whatever type of roofing material you’ve chosen?

As noted above, in today’s market, it very likely is. But if it isn’t, you’ll have to go with a different option.

Roof Color and Roofing Contractors

Finally, when it’s time to choose a roof color, know that you don’t have to go it alone. The professionals from roofing companies are happy to share their expertise and explain, for example, how you can use roof color (or colors) to accent elements like dormers and other distinctive architectural features.

Roof replacement in Indianapolis

What is the Roof Replacement Process?

Why Choose Roof Replacement In Indianapolis?

When we think of the need for roof replacement, we’re apt to think of high winds or some other dramatic weather event or accident destroying the old one. But the fact of the matter is, no roof lasts forever. Even the best ones deteriorate over time, and that means that eventually, everyone needs a new roof.

Roof replacement in Indianapolis

When that moment arrives for you, you may well find the roof replacement cost expensive and the process itself more time-consuming than you’d like. But it will help your peace of mind if you understand the roof replacement process going in.

Roof Replacement: The Preliminaries

When it’s time for a new roof, you’ll have to decide what company is going to do the job. Before settling on one, it’s a good idea to get several quotes from several companies that are licensed, local, and have good reviews online. You want to get the best bargain on your roof replacement cost than you can so long as it’s coming from a reputable, professional outfit.

Roof Replacement: Out with the Old

Before your roof replacement company of choice can put on a new roof, the workers generally have to get rid of the old one. (The exception is discussed below.)

If you have shingles, they’ll pry them loose with a tool called a shingle fork.

In the case of a metal roof, the workers remove it panel by panel using a full-size pry bar or perhaps a drill if the screws aren’t too weathered to make this impractical.

Roof Replacement: Check the Flashing

Once the top layer is gone, workers inspect the flashing, the aluminum or galvanized steel that prevents water from seeping through joints. It protects the roof’s chimney, valleys, and vents with different sorts of flashing in different areas. Chimneys, for example, need step and counter flashing.

Flashing sees a lot of hard use, and it’s likely the inspection will reveal that parts of it are rusty and cracked. But if the flashing is in good shape, it can stay. Otherwise, the workers will replace it with modern flashing and seal their handiwork.

A coating of roofing cement on the edges of flashing helps keep water out.

It’s particularly important to have good flashing underneath the roofing covering the valleys, if any, on your roof. You really need it here to send water off the roof and into the gutter system.

Roof Replacement: The Underlayment

Even a well laid roof lets a little water seep through its surface layer. The underlayment’s job is to keep this water from penetrating any deeper. It catches and sheds the water to prevent it from rotting the sheathing and framing underneath.

Before the underlayment proper goes down, the roofers install an ice and water barrier. They tuck it under the drip edge and then nail it down securely. The underlayment’s rows overlap to maximize protection.

Roof Replacement: The Layering Alternative

In certain cases, rather than go through the steps above, a homeowner may opt to put on a new roof consisting of a new layer of shingles on top of an old one. That’s assuming this alternative is allowed in the homeowner’s jurisdiction; it isn’t always.

When you put on a new roof with layering, you reduce the work involved. This isn’t much of a consideration for professional roofers, who can generally dispose of an old roof in a morning, but it can be more important for do-it-yourselfers.

Layering has two disadvantages that may make a professional roofing company advise against and that contribute to it not being permitted in certain localities.

One is that layer upon layer of shingles is heavy. A triple layer of asphalt shingles weighs as much as a single layer of slate shingles, which are quite heavy. Piling on too much weight can result in too much stress on the structures that support the roof and damage them. This is especially prone to happen in older houses.

The other problem is telegraphing. The new layer of shingles follows any irregularities present underneath, and if bumps, waves, and bubbles contributed to your decision to put on a new roof, there’s a fair chance you’ll end up with them again, and your roof will look unattractive as a result. Correcting as many problems with the old layer as possible before putting on the new shingles may prevent or at least minimize flaws in the new roof’s appearance.

Roof Replacement: The New Roof

After all the preparation, it’s time to install the new roof itself. The roof replacement process varies somewhat depending on the type of roof you decided on. There are a number of types available. You may make your selection based on cost, overall durability, fire resistance, appearance, a desire to have your home blend in well with other houses in the neighborhood, suitability for the essential shape of your roof, or some other factor. These are some of the roofs that are available:

Roof Replacement: Types of Roofing Material

  • Asphalt composition shinglesare the most common choice for a new roof, probably because they’re readily obtainable, cheap, and keep the roof replacement cost down. Most people consider them the least visually appealing option, however.
  • Wood shakesare a more expensive but also more attractive type of shingle. They’re generally quite durable but have relatively poor fire resistance.
  • Metal roofscome in a number of varieties including raised-seam panels and products made to look like composite shingles. They’re durable, long lasting, fireproof, and common considered quite attractive. Given their many virtues, it’s no surprise that, whether made of steel or aluminum, they’re expensive. They also require workers with special tools and expertise to install them.
  • Slate roofingis another expensive option. It’s attractive but also heavy, slippery to walk on, and tricky to repair if it gets damaged.
  • Composition slate tilesare synthetic tiles made of 95% recycled materials, notably rubber. So they can be an appealing choice for people concerned about the environment. They look a lot like stone or slate but are lighter and less easily damaged.
  • Clay or ceramic tilescreate the red-tile roof many of us associate with Spanish-style architecture, Florida, and Southern California. True ceramic tile is going out of fashion now, replaced by materials that look like it, have its resistance to fire, but are lighter. Whether real or imitation, these tiles are called half-barrels because each comes in the form of a cylinder sawed in half lengthwise.

As you’d expect, each type of roofing material requires a somewhat different method of installation. Here are two examples:

Roof Replacement: The Shingle Roof

Workers replacing roof shingles will use starter shingles at the bottom and sides. The nails go in just under the tar strips on the shingles, and staggered rows protect against leaks.

Roof Replacement: The Metal Roof

When installing a metal roof, the workers will be careful to get everything square and then start screwing the new roof down by going up the vertical edge. They’ll put the screws into the ridges, never the flats, and as a result, the roof will go on flatter and the screws will be better protected from pooling water. This method also helps to keep water away from the fasteners. Screws with rubber washers yield the most satisfactory results.

Roof Replacement: Final Thoughts

That’s all a lot to take in, but at Stay Dry Roofing, we can answer all your questions about roof replacement and put on a new roof anywhere in the Indianapolis area. Check our reviews and references online, get a quote on our site, or give us a call. We’ll do a skilled, professional job at an affordable price.