Things You Need to Know Before Replacing Your Roof

Things You Need to Know Before Replacing Your Roof

Before you replace your roof, you need to be informed about your type of roof, how to find a qualified contractor, and how climate impacts the replacement. Ultimately, roof replacements are a major job, possibly the most expensive and extensive home maintenance task you can undertake. You will always want to work with a qualified professional, but having a basic understanding of the task at hand will help you ensure you are getting an affordable but quality roof replacement.

Types of Roofs

For the novice, it may come as a surprise the vast number of roofing types utilized in North America. Factors such as aesthetic, insulation, style, and climate will ultimately determine which type of roof is best for your home. Yet, the structural load of a roof, your budget, and other factors will influence which type of roof is ideal.

These are the most common roof types in North America:

  • Asphalt shingle
  • Modified bitumen
  • Tile
  • Wood shake
  • Metal
  • Slate
  • Single or multiple ply

Usually, you will replace your current roof with the same type of roof. Single and multiple ply, asphalt, and modified bitumen are the best options for a flat roof or roofs with small slopes. Tile and slate roofs tend to be quite heavy and expensive so may not be suited to your home. Metal roofs are lightweight and hold up well to windy climates, but are also expensive. You should discuss which options are right for your climate and budget with your roofer.

Choosing a Qualified Contractor

As with any trade, not all roofers are created equally. Ultimately, you want to choose a roofer with a track record of success and satisfied customers, but one that also has experience with your type of roof. Ideally, you should make a list of contractors in your area. You can speak to family, friends, and colleagues for recommendations, but you can also ask contractors for references. Choose a roofing contractor that has been established in your community for several years, but also one that offers appropriate insurance, free estimates, and warranties on their workmanship.

Climate Factors

If you live in a region that gets a lot of snow and precipitation, you want your roofing replacement to hold up well to snowy conditions. Gutters must be properly fastened; the roof must be able to bear the weight of the snow; and the roof should drain easily. As such, sloped roofs tend to be preferred in wet, snowy climates. Moreover, wood shake roofs may not be the best option as the wood could be at greater risk to rot. Your roofing contractor should be able to review the different types of roofs so you know which is best suited for your replacement.

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