Roof Replacement | Roofing Industry Knowledge
The Top 7 Roofing Questions Answered
Homeowners don’t usually think about their roof until there’s a problem. But when there is a problem, or it’s time for a new roof, they have a ton of questions.
The problem is not only finding all the answers, but it’s also knowing what questions to even ask. To get you started on your roofing knowledge journey, we’ll answer some of the most common questions we get from homeowners.
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has educated homeowners about the ins and outs of the roofing industry. Now we’ll do the same for you.
Keep in mind that it’s impossible to answer every question you may have. That’s why I included links throughout the article to give you an opportunity to learn more about each specific topic.
With that out of the way, let’s answer the top 7 roofing questions.
1. How do I know it’s time to replace my roof?
A roof isn’t meant to be replaced often. But knowing when it’s the right time to replace your roof can save you from roof leaks and possible water damage to the inside of your home.
With that in mind, you shouldn't need a roof replacement until it's near the end of its lifespan. If your roof was properly installed, your attic is adequately ventilated, and your roof is maintained, it will get as close as possible to the maximum lifespan.
Depending on the type of roofing material you have, it could be 20 years, 30 years, 50 years, or even longer. If you don’t work in the roofing industry, it can be hard to spot an older roof, but there are signs that it’s time for a replacement.
Let’s use an older asphalt roof as an example. Below are some of the signs that an asphalt roof has reached the end of its lifespan:
- Curling or buckling shingles
- Lack of granules making the shingles look bald
- Missing shingles
- Roof sagging
- Moss covering your roof
- Blistering shingles
- Finding granules in the gutter
If an asphalt roof has any or all of the above, there’s a good chance it’s time for a replacement. Be aware there are cases when you need a roof replacement sooner than expected because of storm damage or premature roof failure caused by improper installation and/or using cheap roofing materials.
But as long as you hire a high-quality roofing contractor, your roof should get as close as possible to its maximum lifespan.
2. How do I find a roofing contractor I can trust?
I just mentioned hiring a high-quality roofing contractor helps you get the most out of your roof. But the truth is, finding a trusted roofing contractor can be difficult.
That’s why it’s important to do the research and even talk to a few different companies. But there are some things you can do to make sure you’re looking at the right companies.
Below are some tips that help you hire a roofing contractor you can trust:
- They have a local phone number and local physical office location
- Ask for proof that they’re licensed, bonded, and insured in your state
- Ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations
- Look at reviews from the last 3 months
- They offer a lifetime workmanship warranty or close to it (25 years)
These are just some tips to get you started. But the best way to ensure you hire a great roofing contractor is by asking the right questions when meeting or talking to them.
To ensure you’re asking the right questions, here’s a checklist of 16 questions every homeowner needs to ask a roofing contractor with the right answers you should get back.
3. What’s the best roofing material?
Other than choosing your roofing contractor, the biggest decision you’ll have to make is picking the type of roofing material you want. Some homeowners try to find the “best” roofing material.
But the truth is, you need to find the best type for you and your situation. When trying to find the right type of roofing material, you need to consider the look you want, your budget, and how much life you want to get out of it.
If you’re on a tight budget and looking for affordability, an architectural asphalt shingle roof is probably the best option. But if your budget has some range and you want a roof that stands out more, luxury asphalt shingles are a great option.
If budget isn’t an issue and you want a roof that turns heads, a standing seam metal roof, a composite (synthetic) shingle roof, a cedar shake roof, or a slate roof is the way to go. Just know these are premium roof systems that come at a price most homeowners can’t afford.
4. How much does a new roof cost?
This next one is probably the biggest question (and concern) homeowners have about getting a new roof. This, of course, is how much a roof replacement costs.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to give you an exact price for your roof due to the multiple cost factors. However, I can at least give you a general idea.
The average cost to replace a roof is around $15,000. The price is based on a home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a walkable roof pitch, a little roof complexity, and architectural asphalt shingles.
Keep in mind your roofing material has a huge impact on the cost of your new roof. So, if you’re interested in upgrading to a luxury asphalt shingle, you’re looking at paying double.
But when you get to the premium roof systems, the price difference gets even more drastic. Depending on which one you choose, it could range from $12.00 per square foot all the way up to $30.00 per square foot.
5. How long does it take to replace my roof?
After a roof replacement is scheduled, it’s guaranteed that most homeowners will ask how long it’ll take to complete. Unfortunately, I can’t be exact on the timeline because every roof is different.
With that in mind, most roofs can be replaced in a day. But the actual timeline depends on factors like the size of the roof, how complex it is, how easy it is to access, and the weather.
It also depends on the type of roofing material you choose. For example, slate tiles have to be installed one at a time.
Compared to architectural asphalt shingles that come on strips that are (around) 40” long, installing slate tiles one by one takes significantly longer. The more roof decking that needs to be changed out can also make a roof replacement take longer.
In extreme cases, a roof replacement could take three to five days. Depending on the roofing material you choose, the weather, complexity, accessibility, and the size of your home, it could even take up to three weeks.
But unless it’s a large home, a roof can typically be replaced in a day.
6. Does my new roof come with warranties?
After your roof is installed, you’ll have two types of warranties to protect your investment. The first warranty will be on the workmanship of the roofing contractor you hire.
The length of your workmanship warranty depends on the local roofing contractor you hire and varies from company to company. They range from 2, 5, 10, 25 years, or even a lifetime warranty.
Remember, you need to look for a roofing contractor that offers a lifetime warranty or close to it. If they don’t offer at least a 10-year workmanship warranty, don’t think about hiring them.
The second warranty is on the roofing materials themselves, and each roofing material offers a different type of material warranty.
For example, asphalt shingles come out of the package with a warranty from the manufacturer. On the other hand, metal roofs come with a warranty on the painted finish that protects the metal panels.
Composite shingles have a limited lifetime warranty that’s prorated after a certain number of years. But when you get to a cedar shake or slate roof, you won’t have a material warranty because they’re naturally made.
Both of these warranties are crucial to protect your roof investment. But as long as you find a great roofing contractor and invest in quality materials, you should get the best warranties available.
7. Will my homeowners insurance cover roof damage?
You have homeowners insurance to protect your home and, yes, your roof if there’s ever a problem. However, homeowners insurance won’t cover your roof just because it’s leaking.
(Left: hail Damage, Right: wind damage)
For insurance to cover roof damage, it must be caused by an extreme weather event. This includes straight-line winds (aka damaging winds) during heavy thunderstorms, hail storms, snowstorms, and tornados.
It should also cover roof damage from fallen tree limbs caused during storms or strong wind. Depending on the type of policy you have, homeowners insurance should cover a roof replacement if it’s damaged from any of the above events.
Just know your insurance adjuster and the insurance company have the final say if your claim actually gets approved or not. But as long as the damage is caused by extreme weather, your homeowner’s insurance should cover the expense.
Get the guide that has everything you need to know about a roof replacement
There you have it, the top 7 roofing questions answered. Remember, the links throughout this article give you more information about each topic.
After getting through the answers, you may have your big questions answered. But maybe you have more, or there’s one that we didn’t cover.
If that’s the case, we have just the thing you need. The Complete Guide to Purchasing a Roof has everything you need to know about a roof replacement.
The buyer’s guide includes the different materials that make up a roof, helps you choose the right roofing material, how to pay for a new roof, and so much more. Get all the questions you need to be answered in one place with The Complete Guide to Purchasing a Roof.
Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped thousands of homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas with their roofing needs. We take pride in our work and back it up with a lifetime warranty.
If you’re local to Nashville or a surrounding area, don’t hesitate to contact us for whatever your roof needs today.
Here’s The Complete Guide to Purchasing a Roof to learn everything homeowners need to know about a roof replacement.