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How Do You Prepare for a Roof Replacement? (9 Simple Tips)

December 13th, 2023 | 6 min. read

How Do You Prepare for a Roof Replacement? (9 Simple Tips)

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After signing a contract and scheduling your roof replacement, it’s time to play the waiting game. But while you wait, it doesn’t mean you can't be proactive. 

In fact, there are some crucial things you need to do to prepare for your roof replacement. You even need to make some decisions in advance to avoid headaches or delays.

So, what should you do to prepare for the big day?

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has answered homeowners’ questions on what happens before, during, and after a roof replacement. That’s why I came up with a list of things every homeowner should do to prepare for it. 

Let’s get to the 9 tips that prepare you and your home for a roof replacement. 

1. Decide if you want to stay home during the roof replacement

A roof replacement is a loud and annoying project on both the outside and inside. That’s why you need to decide if you want to stay home during your roof replacement. 

If you work from home and have meetings, you may want to find somewhere else to go for the day. However, it’s entirely up to you to stay or leave. 

So, your roofing contractor will have no problem if you plan on staying home. Just be aware of all the moving pieces, where it’s safe to walk, stay out of the installers’ way, and have an exit strategy if you decide to leave during the roof replacement process.

2. Think about how your pets handle loud noises

Just like deciding how you’ll handle the noise, you also need to consider your pets. If your dog or cat is scared of storms or fireworks, I guarantee they won’t like the banging that comes with a roof replacement.

I’ve even had customers say their cat didn’t come out from under the bed for a week after completing the project. I recommend finding somewhere for your dog or cat to go on the day of your replacement.

Just make sure you make this decision a few days in advance so there’s a plan in place to avoid causing unnecessary stress. 

3. Determine if you want your attic covered

Attics get a good dusting of roofing debris, sawdust, and wood splinters during a roof replacement, which creates a big mess. That’s why you need to decide if you want to cover your attic. 

plastic covering things in the attic to protect them during a roof replacement

If you do, they’ll make a plastic tent to attach to the ceiling that shields falling debris or lay tarping/plastic over everything. Once your roof replacement is complete, they’ll roll the plastic or tarp with all the debris up to throw away.

Just make sure to talk to your roofing contractor about it before the project begins. Because the debris starts raining down as soon as they start tearing off your old roof.

4. Take important and valuable things down

When installing your new roof, vibrations go throughout your home (more severely with the hand-nailing installation method). That’s why I recommend taking valuable, important, or irreplaceable items on the walls or shelves down until your roof replacement is completed.

This isn’t to say the vibrations are guaranteed to knock something down. However, it’s better to be safe with what you deem important or valuable. 

This is especially true considering that some roofing contractors include a clause in their contract stating they aren’t liable for any property damage during your roof replacement. 

5. Move your vehicles out of the driveway

On the day of your roof replacement, a dump trailer and your roofing contractor’s vehicles will be in your driveway. That’s why you need to move your vehicle(s) the night before, so you don’t get blocked in if you plan or need to leave during your roof replacement.

If you get blocked in, the entire process has to stop, and everything must be cleared so you can get through. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can delay the project and add more time to complete

That’s why I recommend moving your vehicles out of the way whether you decide to stay or go, just to be prepared.

6. Turn off your irrigation system  

While all vehicles stay on paved surfaces, your roofing contractor will walk in the grass. Unfortunately, walking on fresh, wet grass damages your lawn. 

That’s why I recommend shutting off your irrigation system or automatic sprinklers a day or two before, especially on the day of your roof replacement. This is simply part of the process to ensure your property is protected.

However, this is one of the property protections that’s 100% on you to do before your roof replacement.

7. Check the power source outside

While most roofing contractors work with generators, they still need an outside power source. This is mainly in case something isn’t working, they need another outlet, or a tool is too powerful. 

That’s why a roofing contractor asks if you have an outside power source when they inspect your roof. While they’ll test it to ensure it’s still putting out power during the inspection, you also need to ensure it works beforehand. 

If it isn’t, tell your roofing contractor so they can prepare and have a backup plan.

8. Inspect your property for existing damage

The day before your roof replacement, it’s a good idea to inspect your property and take pictures of existing damage (torn window screens, damaged light fixtures, etc). You should also take general pictures of your property as proof if you find something damaged after the roof replacement process.

pictures of existing damage before a roof replacement begins

A reputable roofing contractor does everything possible to protect your property, but mistakes happen. If they cause damage, they should own up to it and take care of the issue at no charge. 

But remember, some roofing contractors have clauses in their contracts stating they’re not liable for any damage caused during a roof replacement.

9. Don’t set your security alarm

If you decide to leave during your roof replacement, lock your doors — but don’t set your alarm. While not likely, the vibrations and noise can set security alarms off.

This isn’t to say you have to shut off cameras or other security systems. But the last thing you want is to come all the way home and bother your local police because vibrations caused your alarm to go off.

What happens during the roof replacement process?

Now you’re ready for the day of your roof replacement. By thinking about your pets, inspecting your property, taking things off the wall, and the other things we’ve covered, you’re ready for a smooth experience. 

But be warned, getting a new roof is chaotic and messy, with a lot of moving pieces. After all, it is a construction project, and it can be alarming if you’ve never been through it. 

The last thing you want is to be unprepared for the chaos and stressed when you see things flying off your roof. That’s why I wrote another article breaking down a reputable roofing contractor’s replacement process.

Check out the 8-Step Process to Replace Your Roof to learn what happens on the day of your roof replacement.

prepare for your roof replacement checklist

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