THE NEED FOR ROOF REPLACEMENT
Roof replacement is arguably the most essential form of major home repair. That’s because the roof protects both the structure of the house itself and everything inside from water damage and other harmful intrusions. You can lose pretty much everything in your Barrington IL home from the attic all the way down to the basement.
That being the case, it’s a big gamble not to neglect roof replacement or even to put off this form of roof repair until the roof is so dilapidated that a crisis is imminent. Naturally, the more you know about roof replacement, the better able you’ll be to evaluate a bid from a Barrington roofing contractor. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the fundamentals of roof replacement.
ROOF REPLACEMENT: ROOFING MATERIALS
You have a number of options when it comes to roofing materials, and you may make your choice based on price, durability, resistance to fire or a particular sort of weather, the particular structure of the house, your aesthetic preferences, the style of the house, or even the area you live in. If your home is one Spanish-style home in a neighborhood of such homes, for example, you might feel that a traditional tile roof is pretty much a requirement.
Here’s a list of common roof replacement options.
- Asphalt composition shingles are cheap, and that makes them the most popular roofing material even though most people find them the least attractive due to their flat appearance.
- Wooden shingles (AKA shakes) are both a more expensive and a more attractive kind of shingle. These roof shingles aren’t a good choice for an area where there’s significant risk of fire, however, nor do they work well on flat or low-pitched roofs.
- Slate roofs are high-end roofs. They’re heavy, expensive, tricky to install, and slippery to walk on, which increases the cost if you find yourself in need of roof repair.
- Composition slate is synthetic tiles made from 95% recycled materials (among them rubber), so this can be an appealing choice for people concerned about sustainability and the environment. Composition slate tiles also have the advantage of looking like natural slate and other forms of stone tile but being less vulnerable to damage.
- Clay or ceramic tile is the red tile that was once a necessity for Spanish-style roofs. (Nowadays, roof replacement often uses other roofing materials like metal and composite tile that give the same appearance, are equally fire retardant, but weight significantly less.) These shingles are called half-barrel shingles because they’re cylinders about a foot and a half long that have been cut in half lengthwise.
- Metal roofs are made of steel and aluminum. They’re expensive partly because only specialty roofing contractors can install them, but they’re quite durable and last a long time, If you want to take care of roof replacement once and then be done with the issue for as long as possible, a metal roof could be the right choice for you.
We’ve already alluded to the fact that some roofing materials are more expensive than others. The pitch of the roof, particular structural elements (for example, dormers) the square footage, and the prices of the Burlington roofing contractor you choose also figure into your new roof cast.
Just to give you a feel for the possibilities, a three-tab composite roof for a small house could conceivably cost as little as $7000. Nationwide, the average roof replacement cost using architectural asphalt shingles from $3.50 to $5.50 per square foot. This price factors in all the permits, demolition, waste disposal, and cleanup required.
Since roof replacement is pricey, finding ways to save money is a sensible idea. One trick is to schedule roof replacement for the off-season. As roofing companies are less busy during these times, they may off you a discount. They can still get the job done in an effective, professional manner because skilled roofers work fast and thus can take maximum advantage of dry periods.
Now that we’ve discussed roofing materials and roof replacement cost, let’s see how the process of roof replacement actually unfolds.
Before roof replacement proper begins, a roofing professional must inspect the roof and discuss your options with you regarding materials, etc. Once that discussion is complete, the Burlington roofing contractor can give you an estimate, and once you authorize the work, the process of installing a new roof can begin.
The first step in roof replacement is generally to take off all the old shingles and put them in a roll-off dumpster. Old or damaged drip edging and valley flashing comes off too. The roofers use tarps to protect foundation plantings and shrubs during tear-off and magnetic tools to find nails and other metal objects that land in the grass.
You may have heard of a new layer of roof shingles being laid down on top of an old one, and this does reduce the number of man-hours a job requires. Possibly not by much, though, since experienced, professional roofing crews work fast, and in any case, there are many places where this is now illegal. Even if you happen to live someplace where it is still legal, however, before authorizing this, a homeowner should consider the potential drawbacks.
The more layers of shingles on a roof, the more it weights, and too much weight can compromise the structure of the house. This is a problem particularly prevalent in older homes.
Also, new shingles installed over old ones are also prone to telegraphing. This means that imperfections in the old layer also appear in the new one, and you end up with the same bumps, waves, and bubbles you had before. Naturally this can detract from the appearance of the new roof.
Following tear-off, roofers make minor repairs to the roof as needed provided it’s in fundamentally good condition. If it’s not, they’ll need to replace bad wood with new plywood sheathing or 1 x 6 sheathing boards depending on the type of roof.
Next, asphalt roofing paper goes over the roof sheathing, overlapping the rows as they climb toward the peak of the new roof and tacking or stapling them down. The roofing paper is a barrier against water penetration.
The next step in roof replacement is to nail metal-strip edging on both the eave sides and gable sides of the edging of the roof.
If necessary, roofers then install a new valley edging at the place where two roof planes meet. They nail it down and seal it with caulk.
The roofers then put on tab shingles, starting at the eaves and working up to the peak.
After that, they apply flashing to any spot where water might leak into the house. Chimneys, skylights, and stack vents are all vulnerable points.
Then comes the installation of the roof vent. Roof vents help circulate air and are a good idea even if, as is sometimes the case with older homes, the original roof didn’t have one. If the structure of the house makes a roof vent infeasible, other types of ridge or gable vents may be options.
With the roof vent installed, the process of roof replacement is practically over. The final step is to clean up and haul debris away.