Homeowner’s Guide to Roof Repair and Replacement
Purchasing a house is typically the biggest investment you’ll ever make, and getting the keys to your new home is one of life’s most exciting moments. Most homeowners know projects, repairs and seasonal to-do’s are just part of life. But some repairs can seem more daunting than others; roof repair and replacement often fall into that category.
Fortunately, a reputable contractor can arm you with the facts and help assess whether your roof needs minor repairs, heavy maintenance, or total replacement.
American Home Contractors is a full-service roofing contractor. We pride ourselves on the excellent reputation we’ve built over 15 years, working with clients who need roof repair or replacement. We can help you better understand your options and provide a solution tailored to your needs.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear about roof repair and maintenance.
Should I Repair or Replace?
It’s one of the of the larger— and arguably, most important— projects, yet many homeowners put off maintaining or replacing their roof, simply because it’s a daunting proposition in scope and potential cost.
In fact, most homeowners struggle with determining whether their roof needs to be repaired, or needs a full roof replacement. In our 15 years of experience, if we’ve learned one thing, it’s that the very worst thing a homeowner can do is to procrastinate.
It’s tempting to postpone roof repair and replacement in favor of a budget surplus now. But don’t kid yourself. Procrastination is a costly business.
Putting off repairs and roof replacement can actually create a much bigger expense in the future. From leaks, to energy inefficiencies to decreased property values, roof problems are a big— and expensive— deal.
So, because all roofs need repair and replacement eventually, there’s on crucial question homeowners face: When?
Here are a few things to look for when determining whether to repair or replace your roof:
Minor damage to shingles can be repaired, but if your shingles are significantly buckled, curled, broken, clawing or missing altogether, it’s definitely time to replace the roof.
If it looks as though waves are running up your roof in a vertical pattern, chances are it’s because the shingles are buckling. This is a sign of an old roof or poorly installed underlayment. Either way, buckling shingles are easily torn or removed with heavy winds. It’s a sign that it’s time to replace the roof.
Broken and missing shingles are of special concern since this condition markedly decreases a roof system’s ability to repel water. These areas can also serve as an opportunity for water to enter the house itself, causing significant damage.
If you’ve got large wet spots on your walls or ceiling or see evidence of water damage in your attic following wind-driven rain, it’s time to be concerned.
These are signs of a leaky roof, and often precede a mold infestation that can spread sickness to the home’s occupants. If you notice these symptoms or others (like interior drywall damage or blistering or peeling paint) don’t hesitate to call a contractor immediately.
There are a number of danger signs that indicate a failing roof that needs immediate replacement:
- Leakage in an attic, which can be the result of inadequate shingle underlayment or deteriorated flashing.
- Leakage after ice buildup can also be the result of inadequate shingle underlayment that allows water from ice dams to leak into the attic.
- Growth on shingles which can be caused by anything from environmental pollutants to fungus to shingle granule deterioration.
It comes down to this: whether you’re looking at minor repairs or a complete replacement, it’s generally best to get the job done sooner rather than later. It’s always best to get it done right, even if that means spending a little more now.
What Are The Added Benefits Of Replacing My Roof?
There are almost too many to list here, but we’ll start with a short list of four big benefits of roof replacement:
Added Protection From The Elements
If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, a new roof is your best protection against the elements. After all, the primary function of a roof is to safeguard the rest of your home from the elements. If you’ve got bald patches or your shingles are cracked, cupped or torn, your roof can’t perform at its best.
Moreover, the ills of a roof in poor condition are legion— if you think roof replacement is expensive, consider the mold, compromised drywall, and even structural damage caused by a roof in need of repair or replacement.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but most home buyers will agree a mismatched, damaged or sun-bleached roof is unsightly. If you’ve decided to update other features of your home’s exterior, your roof may no longer reflect your personal style, and may even detract from its curb appeal.
A new, beautifully cohesive roof can give your whole home a facelift, which not only increases its aesthetics but provides an excellent return on your investment. (And your neighbors will thank you!)
Energy Efficiency Equals Big Savings
As the old saying goes, it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep. And a new roof allows you to keep more cash money. Energy efficiency is one key to reducing the monthly costs of home ownership, and a new roof can provide that.
Not only does your roof protect the rest of your home from the elements, it provides a hugely important function: insulation. A new roof can help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Which, by the way, reduces the number you see at the bottom of your utility bill.
Increased Home Value
A well-protected, structurally sound home is more important than curb appeal when it comes to the resale value of a home. A sturdy roof is essential to the structural integrity of any home.
Your roof is one of the most important ways to protect and increase the value of your biggest investment, giving you a peace of mind that’s priceless.
How Can I Extend The Life of My Roof?
Two words: roof care. Most roofs are built to last for 20 years, but this lifespan is dependent on routine care and maintenance.
When it comes to roof care, it isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Just like automobiles, roofs need regular maintenance and care if they’re going to go the distance. Here are some roof care tips that will help extend the life of your roof:
Perform An Annual Professional Roof Inspection
This is one of the most proactive things a homeowner can do to preserve the integrity of a roof and thereby increase its longevity. There’s just no substitute for a professional inspection. Only an expert has the knowledge and tools to assess potential problem areas. You can’t repair a roof if you don’t know there’s a problem.
Many roofers offer inspections and repair suggestions free of charge, so there’s really no good argument against these yearly inspections.
Clear Out Your Gutters and Winterize
A lot of homeowners don’t think about gutters as a part of roof maintenance, but they are. Precipitation is diverted away from your home through downspouts which prevents damage not just to your siding but to your roof.
When your gutters are clogged with leaves and other debris, they can’t do their job. Water may even start pooling on your roof, which is a surefire recipe for deterioration and damage.
When late summer hits, you should already be thinking about properly winterizing your roof. Winters are especially tough on roofs, so it’s vital to make sure yours is protected against another cold, icy season.
If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall, you know the headache associated with roof moss. A moist climate is conducive to moss growth, which can threaten a roof’s integrity.
The truth is, moss can cause severe damage to a home’s roof because its root system burrows underneath shingles, lifting them and making your roof vulnerable to damage.
And since moss absorbs high levels of moisture, excess water can pool on top of your roof, damaging structures underneath, and encouraging mold and rot.
While the DIY method of removing moss may be the cheaper option, there are a number of pitfalls to avoid like damage to shingles caused by power washing, not to mention the safety concerns.
In many cases, hiring a contractor might be the best, most cost-effective and safest option, so be sure to explore all the possibilities before making a decision.
How Can I Get My Roof Storm Ready?
If there’s one sound that strikes dread in the heart of any homeowner, it’s the sound of hail hitting the roof. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your roof from hail and other weather-related events that can cause severe damage.
It may be cliche, but it’s a fact: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to protecting your roof from storm damage.
Since any storm is particularly hard on a home’s roof, it’s important to check your roof for damage before one hits.
Consider hiring a contractor to inspect your roof for things like degraded caulking, chimney flash cracking and holes or dents in the roof itself. The contractor can then make recommendations for how and when to make repairs ahead of any severe weather.
Invest In The Right Materials
Another way to protect your roof from storm damage is to invest in impact resistant shingles. These are especially effective in defending against hail damage, since they are specifically designed to accommodate roof areas prone to damage from hail and strong winds. They’re also what’s known as a ‘class 4’ shingle, which means they’re better able to absorb the impact of hail without cracking.
Maintain Your Yard
While it’s not necessarily intuitive, routine yard maintenance is an excellent way to prevent roof damage.
When a storm hits, if your trees aren’t well pruned and overhang your roof, limbs can easily to break off and fall on your roof. Regular yard maintenance also reduces the amount of debris that could impact and damage your roof in the event of a storm.
What Causes Roof Leaks?
A leaky roof can mean big problems and hugely expensive fixes if not addressed quickly. It’s important to know what to look for. However, it’s just as important to understand the cause of leaky roofs so you can take necessary preventative measures against them.
Why do roofs leak in the first place? Here are the 10 most common causes:
- Cracked flashing
- Broken shingles
- Improperly sealed valleys
- Cracked vent booting
- Ice dam build up
- Improperly installed skylights
- Clogged gutters
- Cracked chimney
- Damage from frequent walking on roof
The best way to deal with a leaky roof is to prevent it in the first place with the right care regimen. A reputable roofer can help you do that by identifying areas of vulnerability and providing an action plan, including an appropriate maintenance schedule.
What are Your Roofing Options?
When it comes to materials— and contractors — not all are equal. Here are just some of the options available to today’s consumer:
As you search for a contractor, don’t underestimate the importance of warranties. Ultimately, warranties offer so more than insurance against unfortunate events. They offer a homeowner peace of mind.
American Home Contractors is GAF factory-certified Master Elite Status, so our products are eligible for special warranties, which offer coverage on everything from material defects to problem prevention. Our goal is to provide quality products and unparalleled service to our customers, as well as the peace of mind that comes with a solid warranty.
With so many superb color, texture, and material selections available today, you won’t have trouble finding roof shingles that fit your home’s style. With choices that range from affordable to high-end, you’ll also find one that fits your budget.
American Home Contractors offers two of the most highly rated, quality shingles: GAF Timberline and Owens Corning Trudefinition.
GAF Timberline shingles are North America’s #1 selling roof shingle, and offer design choices from wood-shake to slate to old world elegance. And Owens Corning Trudefinition Duration Shingles come in a huge variety of colors like Brownwood, Chateau Green and Onyx Black.
With performance-driven, beautifully stylish materials at a variety of price points, GAF Timberline and Owens Corning shingles guarantee an endlessly attractive roof that will protect your home for decades.
Get the Roof Tune-Up Package to Extend the Life of Your Roof System
If you’re serious about protecting your roof, consider purchasing a Roofing Tune-up package from a reputable contractor.
These packages typically include the following services:
- Re-sealing around pipe collars, exhaust fans, vents and chimney flashings
- Re-nailing loose shingles
- Inspecting for interior leaks
- Survey of attic ventilation and insulation
A Roof Tune-up should also include a summary report indicating potential problem areas (with photos) and the professional’s recommendations for next steps.
Purchasing a Roofing Tune-Up package is a sensible way to ensure the longevity of your roof.
American Home Contractors
Check out our new video! Proud of our team, the work we do, and the results we provide to our customers. "Our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction is what sets us apart from our competition." - Jon ParkerPosted by American Home Contractors on Wednesday, October 26, 2016
What Should I Look For in a Qualified Roofing Contractor?
To ensure that your roof is properly installed and will last for decades, you’ll need to hire a qualified, experienced contractor who uses only the best materials.
So, what should you look for in a contractor?
One basic attribute of a qualified contractor is the use of quality products like GAF shingles. These are incredibly popular in the roofing business; they’re durable and generally decrease the frequency with which homeowners need repairs.
Since 1886, GAF shingles are consistently rated #1 in quality by contractors and builders. They’re industry leaders in innovation and performance. As you research contractors, ask which materials they use and whether they use GAF shingles.
Finally, don’t skip reading the reviews. Check to see that customers are saying good things consistently, and don’t forget to consider the number of reviews available. It’s easy to get high marks if you have only a few reviews. A contractor with a high ratio of stars to reviews is a sure sign of an excellent reputation.
As an GAF Master Elite Contractor, American Home Contractors has expertise in all aspects of home improvement including siding, roofing, windows and exterior surfaces.
With a stellar reputation and nearly two decades of experience, American Home Contractors uses only the best materials and is hands down the most qualified contractor to repair or install your roof. Request a quote or give us a call today— we guarantee our customers’ satisfaction!