When it comes to roof replacement, how much do you know? The answer is: to an expert – quite a bit. To the rest of us – probably not enough. That being said, it is time all of us learned something about roofs, roofing materials and roof replacement to sound like we know what we are talking about when it comes to discussing our roofing needs with a roofing contractor, the guy at the material store, or your neighbor. It never hurts to be informed.
Roof replacement is inevitable when you own a house. Maybe not today, but if you live in your home long enough, you will experience it. When that time comes, it is essential you know what to do and what is involved. Basic roofing and roof replacement knowledge will make the experience one you can look back on and say “that wasn’t bad.”
What is Roof Replacement vs Roof Repair
Roof Replacement is just that: Removing the old, worn-out, damaged, roofing materials – which could include not only what you see as the top layer of the roof, but could go all the way down to the plywood decking, and replacing all damaged materials with similar, or sometimes upgraded roofing material. Roof repair is fixing what is wrong in a select area. Before we can talk about roof replacement, we need to know the basics about types of roofs, roofing materials and costs.
There are several things you need to know before the roof replacement can begin. Things like: what type roof do I have and what roof material is being used on the roof; what will it cost; is this something I can claim on my homeowner’s insurance policy; as well as knowing when to call in the experts, like First Out Roofing in Denton, Texas.
Types of Roof/Material used on each:
There are two general types of roofs – flat and pitched. A flat roof is one that has little angle to the roofline for drainage. It appears to be flat, thus the name. A pitched roof has an angle or steepness to the roofline, and depending on the angle, determines the “pitch.” Pitch is notated as a combination of vertical and horizontal numbers. A pitch of 7/12 means that there is a rise of seven feet for every twelve feet of length – or seven inches per foot. Pitch will help determine which material should be used.
The most common roofing material used on a Flat Roof include:
- Built-Up Roof is the cheapest flat roof, is fire resistant and provides protection against sun damage to carpet, furniture and other materials. It can be very hard to find where a leak is because water runs to the lowest point before dripping in.
- Modified Bitumen is a type of peel and stick roofing that reflects heat, but can be dangerous to put down due to the heating process of installation.
- Rubber Roofing can be used to patch your roof, is eco-friendly, has a tendency to absorb heat as it is black, but can have an additional coating applied to help deflect the heat.
The most common roofing material used on a Pitched Roof include:
- Asphalt Shingles – most commonly used, affordable, lasts about 20 years, comes in a variety of colors, easiest to install.
- Wood Shingles and/or Wood Shakes – rustic looking, not good in damp or wet climates as it may develop moss, not advisable in fire-prone areas.
- Slate Tiles – lasts a very long time, resists fire, looks nice, is heavy so may require additional structural support.
- Concrete and/or Clay Tiles – very heavy, will need additional structural support, fire resistant, very long lasting, breaks if walked on, is prone to hail damage.
- Metal Sheets and/or Metal Tiles – very durable, fire resistant, wind resistant, hail resistant, Installs quickly, requires very little maintenance.
Costs of Roof Replacement
Costs for roof replacement will vary depending on several factors such as: roof size; roofing material used; pitch of the roof; accessibility to the roof; area of the country; as well as several other factors determine final costs.
Roof size is the most important factor in determining cost of roof replacement. For instance, if you are replacing your roof with asphalt shingles, the roofer will base his price on a “roofing square” which is a 10 foot by 10 foot area (thus 10 x 10 = 100).
Roofing materials used will also determine the cost. Asphalt shingles are the most economical cost wise and are found on a majority of homes in the United States. Wood, Slate and Tile are more costly than asphalt, but are more durable and more attractive. The costliest material is the metal roofing, but is also is the longest lasting and withstands high winds and heavy hail.
The pitch of the roof is also a factor in determining the price. A general rule of thumb is: The steeper the pitch, the more it will cost due to the additional precautions and the risks involved.
The accessibility of the roof is another determining factor in overall cost. Are there power lines that must be worked around or disconnected? Are there overhanging tree limbs? Is there room to get a truck in to aid in removal of the old roof?
What area of the country you live in also factors into the cost. The price of materials is impacted by shipping costs if nothing else. This is passed along to you in the cost of materials.
Can I file a Roof Replacement claim on my Homeowner’s Insurance
In most cases, depending on the individual policy, you can get the answer simply by calling your agent. Your agent will ask you a variety of questions in order to start the claims process. Talk with you agent to see how involved you will need to be.
Know when to call in the experts
If all of this seems a little more than you wanted to know and certainly is beyond your expertise of DIY projects, be assured there are experts that can and will be happy to handle all the details for your roof replacement.