Skip to main content

Roof Replacement 101: What Should You Know Before Replacing Your Roof?

A roof replacement is a big and expensive home improvement project that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, there’s a lot to learn to make the right choices, alleviate concerns, understand what you’re paying for, and much more to feel comfortable with such a large investment.

Luckily, you can easily get all the information you need about replacing your roof by simply asking questions. The hard part is knowing what to ask and bouncing around to find all the right answers. 

That’s why I’m putting my 30-plus years in the roofing industry to use by answering all the main questions homeowners ask about a roof replacement in one place.

Welcome to Roof Replacement 101, where you’ll learn everything you need to know before replacing your roof. Scroll through at your leisure to get the full experience, or use the Table of Contents to jump to the specific questions you need answered. 

How often should a roof be replaced?

As long as it’s properly installed, a roof is usually only replaced when the roofing material reaches the end of its lifespan. For example, an architectural asphalt shingle roof (the most common roof in the country) will need to be replaced every 22-25 years. 

Now, there are circumstances like premature roof failure and storm damage that lead to replacing a roof earlier than expected. But as long as you hire a reputable roofer and invest in quality products, you should only have to replace your roof every 20 years or so (depending on the roofing material). 

When should you replace your roof?

Now, you know a roof isn’t meant to be replaced often. However, you still need to know how to determine when you should replace it. 

Unfortunately, it’s hard to do this without knowing your roof’s age. Luckily, there are signs that help you identify if it’s time for a roof replacement

You have continuous roof leaks

If you’re experiencing continuous leaks that require frequent repairs, your roof is improperly installed or has reached its maximum lifespan. While multiple repairs on a single issue are possible, experiencing frequent roof leaks in different areas is a sign of a larger problem. 

That’s why the only solution for a roof with continuous leaks caused by the two issues above (especially one that’s older) is a complete replacement. 

roof leak water spots on ceiling in kitchen

Cracked, curling, granular loss, or missing asphalt shingles

Curling, cracked, granular loss, and missing shingles are signs that your roof has reached the end of its lifespan. However, missing shingles can also be signs of improper installation or storm damage. 

If wind damage causes missing shingles and you have an RVC policy, it could lead to insurance paying for a roof replacement

missing, curled, and granular loss on asphalt shingles that need replacing

Vegetation growing on your roof

Moss or other vegetation growth is a sign that your roof is on the older side, and it’s time to start considering a replacement. There may also be black streaks caused by algae growth on a 10 to 15-year-old roof. 

While the black streaks don’t look great, it doesn’t necessarily mean your roof needs to be replaced.

moss and algae growth on asphalt shingles that need to be replaced

Finding granules on the ground or gutters

Granules are pieces of asphalt embedded in shingles for fire resistance, color, and UV ray protection. They are crucial to the longevity of an asphalt roof, but it’s natural to lose them as your roof gets older.

Once you start finding granules on the ground by downspouts or in your gutters, it’s time for a roof replacement.

loose asphalt granules in gutters and on the ground

Finding rotten or discolored decking in the attic

Finding dark spots or other discoloration on the bottom of your roof’s decking means water got underneath your roofing materials and soaked through the wood. Finding discolored decking in your attic means you need a roof replacement or, at the very least, extensive and costly repairs.

It could be from improper installation or the roofing materials’ functionality has maxed out, but either way, the structural integrity is compromised.

rotten decking in attic

Other houses in your neighborhood are getting new roofs

If homes in your neighborhood are getting roof replacements and were all built around the same time, it may be time to replace yours, too. If you notice neighbors getting roof replacements after a strong thunderstorm, they most likely had a viable insurance claim

While there’s no guarantee that your roof is also damaged, it’s a good idea to contact a roofer and your insurance company for an assessment.

roof replacement

How much does it cost to replace a roof?

After learning you need a roof replacement, your biggest concern is probably how much it’ll cost. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to give you an exact cost without a roof inspection. 

However, that doesn’t mean I can’t give you general numbers to help you understand the budget you’ll need for a roof replacement. 

What’s the average cost to replace a roof?

According to the 2023 COST VS VALUE REPORT, the average cost of a roof replacement is $29,136. Now, this is a very general price because it doesn’t separate the different asphalt shingle types, account for home or roof size, pricing in your area, and other factors.

However, we can get a little more specific using our service area. The average residence in our area of Nashville, Tennessee, is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with a walkable roof pitch, a little roof complexity, and architectural asphalt shingles.

For most homeowners, a more realistic 2023 average roof replacement cost here in Nashville, Tennessee, is around $15,000. Unfortunately, you can expect a new roof’s average cost to rise in 2024 because of the continued price increases for roofing materials.

How much does a roof replacement cost based on the roofing material?

While having the average cost of a new roof is great, it doesn’t paint the whole story. Here's a table with the cost per square foot of the top roofing materials used in residential roofing around the country. 

Keep in mind each price is for a full roof replacement, which includes labor and material costs. 

If you want to be more specific, check out our Roof Cost Calculator to get a more accurate roof replacement budgeting number.


How much does a roof replacement cost based on the roofing material?

While having the average cost of a new roof is great, it doesn’t paint the whole story. Below is a table with the cost per square foot of the top roofing materials used in residential roofing around the country. 

Keep in mind each price is for a full roof replacement, which includes labor and material costs.

If you want to be more specific, check out our Roof Cost Calculator to get a more accurate roof replacement budgeting number.

What factors impact the cost to replace a roof?

The type of roofing material and pricing in your area have a huge impact on the cost of replacing your roof. However, a lot more goes into pricing a roof replacement. 

The main factors that impact the cost of your new roof are:

  • Roof size
  • Roof accessibility and complexity
  • Roofing material and roof system components
  • Number of stories off the ground
  • Labor and time 
  • Number of penetrations
  • The number of layers being torn off
  • Dump-fees
  • Roofing contractor’s operating costs

The factors above completely depend on your roof and the roofing contractor you hire. Because every roof and company is different, you’ll never know the true cost of your roof replacement until after an inspection.

Can you finance your roof replacement?

You can pay cash, check, credit card, or an ACH payment for your new roof. If you have storm damage, your insurance company could even pay for your roof replacement. 

But if you’re worried about paying for your roof replacement, simply consider financing like you would a car. Financing your roof replacement takes the upfront cost burden of a new roof away by breaking it out into affordable monthly payments. 

Depending on the roofing contractor, they’ll either provide financing offers in-house or offer it through an outside financing company. Just keep in mind that there’s an approval process, which will be different for each company. 

However, financing a new roof is a great option for everyone, no matter the budget.  

What’s included in a roof replacement?

After learning how much it costs to replace your roof, you need to know what you’re spending it on. After all, a roof is much more than the shingles or roofing material you see from the street. 

It’s a combination of components and materials that fit together like puzzle pieces to keep water out of your home. But if even just one piece of the puzzle is missing, it leads to costly problems. 

Below is what you’re paying to get replaced during your roof replacement.

Roof decking 

Roof decking (also called roof sheathing) is the wooden foundation (plywood, OSB, or planks) that your entire roof system is installed on. Your roofing contractor won’t know if or how much needs replacing until your old roof is torn off

But if your roof’s decking is rotten or can’t handle the installation of a new roof, the boards will need to be replaced before installation can begin.

types of roof decking

Drip edge

Drip edge is metal flashing installed at the roof’s edges (eaves and rakes) to keep water from getting underneath your roofing components. Drip edge at the rakes and eaves is actually a required building code

If it isn’t installed correctly or left off altogether, your home will not pass an inspection. Unfortunately, excluding drip edge is a common way bad roofers lower their prices to come in lower than their competitors. 

drip edge on the rakes and eaves of a roof


Roof underlayment is a felt or synthetic material installed between your roof decking and your roofing material (asphalt shingles, metal roof, etc.) that provides an extra layer of protection. If water does get underneath your roofing materials, underlayment is there to protect your roof decking.

While there are two types of underlayment, I recommend synthetic because it’s more durable, holds nails better, and repels water better than felt. 

synthetic underlayment installed on roofs

Ice and water shield

Ice and water shield is a waterproof membrane that protects your roof from ice and water damage. Like underlayment, its main purpose is to protect your roof decking from water getting under your roofing material.

However, ice and water shield is only installed in/around problem areas like roof valleys, around penetrations, and roofs that have a 2/12, 3/12, or 4/12 pitch. It’s also common to install two rows of ice and water shield along the roof’s edges to prevent leaks from ice damming.

ice and water shield installed in roof valleys and along roof edges

Roof flashing

Roof flashing is a metal material that directs water away from certain areas (walls, chimneys, roof valleys) of your roof. While you have plenty of metal options, steel is the most popular choice because it fits most budgets.

Every type of metal will outlive the rest of the roofing components. However, you should always replace your roof flashing when getting a new roof.

roof flashing around chimney and against walls

Roofing material

The biggest part of your residential roof system is the roofing material. This is what most people think of when they think of a roof. 

The most popular types of residential roofing materials are asphalt shingles, metal roofing, cedar shake roofing, synthetic roofing, and slate roofing. We’ll cover these in the next section to help you pick the right one.

architectural asphalt shingles, luxury asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, and synthetic slate shingles

Ridge capping

Ridge capping is installed where two slopes of a roof meet at the very top. Every roofing material needs ridge capping to ensure it’s sealed at the top and watertight.

If you’re getting an asphalt roof, be aware some roofing contractors try to avoid using ridge capping to keep their costs low.

ridge capping on an architectural asphalt shingle roof

Roof vents

Roof vents are crucial to allow your attic and home to breathe properly through your roof. There are two ventilation systems (active and passive) that have different roof vent options to choose from. 

No matter which one you have, your roof’s life will be cut drastically short without proper attic ventilation and the right amount of roof vents. Your energy bills will also be higher because your AC unit has to work harder to cool your house.

box roof vent, ridge vent, power roof vent, and turbine roof vent

What are the best roofing materials for your roof replacement?

Other than choosing a roofing contractor, the biggest decision you’ll make for a roof replacement is picking your roofing material. That’s why you need to be confident you’re making the right decision.

Below are the cost, lifespan, and warranty, plus the pros and cons of the most common residential roofing materials. 

As you’re going through the materials, there are four things to ask yourself:

  • What’s my roof replacement budget?
  • How long do I want my roof to last?
  • How much do I want to increase my home’s curb appeal?
  • How important is a material warranty to me?

3-tab asphalt shingles

3-tab asphalt shingles lay flat and get their name from the 3 tabs on each shingle strip. This asphalt shingle used to dominate the residential roofing industry until technology improved to create architectural asphalt shingles. 

Cost: $4.00 per square foot

Lifespan: 20 years at most

Material warranty: 25-year limited warranty from the manufacturer

3-tab asphalt shingle pros:

  • Cheapest roofing material on the market
  • Ease of repair and installation

3-tab asphalt shingle cons:

3 tab asphalt shingles

Architectural asphalt shingles

Architectural (also called dimensional) shingles provide a random pattern to give your roof dimension or simulate the look of a wood-shake roof. It’s not only the most common asphalt shingle installed on homes today but also the most common roofing material in general.

Cost: $5.86 per square foot

Lifespan: 22-25 years 

Material warranty: 30-year warranty (prorated after 10 years) from the manufacturer. Upgrade to a 50-year non-prorated enhanced warranty with a full roof system.

Architectural asphalt shingle pros:

  • Affordability
  • Ease of repair and installation
  • Readily available materials and colors

Architectural asphalt shingle cons:

  • Low curb appeal compared to other materials
  • Needs yearly maintenance
  • Prone to hail damage
architectural asphalt shingles

Luxury asphalt shingles

Luxury (also called designer or premium) shingles are designed to look like a natural slate tile roof. They are larger, more durable, offer the highest curb appeal, and are the most expensive of three types of asphalt shingles.

Cost: $8.00 per square foot

Lifespan: 30 years or longer in perfect conditions

Material warranty: 30-year warranty (prorated after 10 years) from the manufacturer. Upgrade to a 50-year non-prorated enhanced warranty with a full roof system.

Luxury asphalt shingle pros:

  • Durability
  • Longevity
  • High curb appeal
  • Stands up well to storm damage

Luxury asphalt shingle cons:

  • Expensive
  • Longer installation compared to the other asphalt shingles
  • Needs yearly maintenance
luxury asphalt shingles

Standing seam metal roofing

A standing seam metal roof system is a series of metal panels locked together at the seams or seamed mechanically. Because of its expansion and contraction capabilities, a standing seam metal roof is the recommended type of metal roof for residential purposes.

Cost: $12.00-$16.00 per square foot

Lifespan: 30 years (up to 50 in the right conditions)

Material warranty: 30-year paint warranty on the Kynar 500 painted finish

Standing seam metal roofing pros:

  • High curb appeal
  • Versatility (used to accent asphalt shingle roofs) 
  • Color options
  • Long-lasting
  • Durable
  • Virtually maintenance free
  • Plenty of metal options

Standing seam metal roofing cons:

standing seam metal roof

Exposed fastener metal roofing

An exposed fastener metal roof (also called screw down panel) are metal panels fastened down using screws and washers screwed through the face of the metal. This metal roof gets its name because the head of the screws (fasteners) are exposed to the elements.

Cost: $4.50 per square foot

Lifespan: 20 years (up to 30 with the maintenance)

Material warranty: Depends on the painted finish

Exposed fastener metal roofing pros:

  • Cheaper metal roof option
  • Color options
  • Durable
  • No potential for oil canning

Exposed fastener metal roofing cons:

  • Lack of expansion and contraction capability
  • Low curb appeal
  • Requires maintenance
  • More prone to leaks
  • Makes noise when it rains
  • Hard to repair
exposed fastener metal roof

Synthetic shingle roofing 

Synthetic (also called composite) shingles are made of a synthetic polymer or recycled materials and designed to look exactly like a slate or cedar shake roof. This roofing material is a newcomer to the roofing industry, but it’s becoming increasingly popular among homeowners.

Cost: $15.00-$20.00 per square foot

Lifespan: 40-50 years

Material warranty: Depends on the manufacturer

Synthetic shingle roofing pros:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Very high curb appeal
  • Class 4 impact rating
  • No cracking or breaking like natural material counterparts
  • Cheaper than the materials it mimics

Synthetic shingle roofing cons:

  • Newer to the roofing industry
  • Expensive
synthetic slate and cedar shake shingles

Cedar shake roofing 

A cedar shake roof is a premium roof system made of natural wood (cedar) materials. The shingles come from large cedar trees in the Northwest United States or Southwest Canada.

They are split into 3 grades (types) of cedar shake shingles: common (most inferior), selects (80/20 split), and 100% straight grain (highest quality). 

Cost: $25.00-$30.00 per square foot

Lifespan: 30 years (up to 50, depending on your area’s climate)

Material warranty: None (made from natural materials)

Cedar shake roofing pros:

  • Very high curb appeal
  • Durable

Cedar shake roofing cons:

  • Expensive
  • Needs yearly maintenance
  • Loses the “fresh” color over time
  • Cedar shakes rot, crack, and curl as they age
  • No material warranty
  • Materials may not be readily available
cedar shake shingles

Slate roofing

A slate roof is a premium roof system made primarily out of natural slate tiles and other slate roofing materials. Unlike most other roofing materials, slate tiles are installed one at a time. Slate roofs are also incredibly heavy, so your home has to be able to handle the weight.

Cost: $25.00-$30.00

Lifespan: 75 to 100 years 

Material warranty: None (made from natural materials)

Slate roofing pros:

  • Longest lasting roofing material available
  • Very high curb appeal
  • Durable

Slate roofing cons:

  • Expensive
  • The weight factor
  • Slate tiles are fragile
  • Slow and skillful installation
  • Harder to repair
  • No material warranty
slate tile roof

How many estimates should you get for your roof replacement?

At this point, you’re ready to start the roof-buying process by getting an estimate. I always recommend getting at least 2 and a maximum of 3 quotes for your roof replacement. 

This mainly allows you to compare prices and determine why one is cheaper/more expensive than another. However, it also lets you get a feel for each contractor that comes out to your home. 

After talking with them and reviewing their estimates, you can determine which is the right fit for you. But be warned, if a price sounds too good to be true, it is. 

A quality roof isn’t cheap, so there should be some sticker shock.

What should be included in every roofing estimate?

After getting a few estimates for your roof replacement, you’re ready to look them over to make sure everything is there. Every estimate should be as specific as possible with an itemized list of everything that will be done during your roof replacement. 

But if you don’t know what you should be looking for, you can’t be sure everything is there.

Every roof replacement estimate should include a line item for each of the following:

  • How your property is protected (tarps, boards, etc.)
  • Layers being torn off
  • Installation method
  • Itemized list of all materials and components being replaced
  • Roof vents
  • Roof flashing
  • Dump fees
  • How replacement decking is handled
  • Warranty information
  • How long the estimate is good for
  • Your right to recession

If it’s being replaced, protected, installed, or anything else during the project, a reputable roofer will include it in an estimate. Want to be 100% sure everything is there? Download this Roof Estimate Checklist.

What red flags should you look for in a roof estimate?

Unfortunately, bad roofers can sneak or hide things in an estimate, even if there’s an itemized list. Luckily, this is easy to identify by being on the lookout for common red flags. 

Hiding things in fine print

You should always read the fine print on your roof estimate. While there’s fine print on most estimates, hiding things in it is a huge red flag. 

The most common thing hidden in fine print is that a roofer isn’t responsible for damage to your property, inside or outside. However, they also like to include hidden fees in the fine print, like dump fees, extra labor costs, replacement decking, and anything else they leave off as a line item that they end up charging you for.

The estimate only comes with a price

Remember, roof estimates should be as specific as possible with a line item list of everything that will be done during your roof replacement. It’s an immediate red flag if there’s no list, and it only comes with a price. 

If your estimate only has a price, you have no idea what you’re really paying for or getting. I also guarantee estimates like this will be the lowest and cheapest, which makes them more tempting. 

No warranty information

Every single roof estimate should include the warranties you’ll be getting after your roof replacement. There should be a line item for the contractor’s workmanship warranty and the material warranties provided by the manufacturer. 

If you get an estimate that doesn’t include both types of warranty information, it’s a major red flag. This is especially true when it comes to workmanship. 

The roofing contractor isn’t willing to go over the roof estimate with you 

The most important thing to do before signing an estimate is going over it with your contractor. They should have no problem going over every line item, answering any questions, talking through concerns, and anything else you need to feel comfortable. 

While this isn’t exactly on the estimate itself, it’s a huge red flag if they aren’t willing to go over it with you. 

Should you stay home during your roof replacement?

After signing your estimate, your roofing contractor will schedule your roof replacement. But before the big day, you need to decide if you want to stay home. 

Because a roof replacement is a loud and annoying project, I recommend finding somewhere to go on the day of your roof replacement. However, it’s completely up to you, and a roofing contractor should have no problem with you staying home. 

Just be aware of all the moving pieces, stay out of the installers’ way, and have an exit strategy if you need or decide to leave during the process. But this is just one thing you need to do to prepare for the big day. 

Below are the other things you need to do before the project begins. 

Think about your pets  

You need to think about your pets and how they’ll handle the noise. Cats seem to be more affected than dogs, but the constant banging and pounding will also stress out dogs that don't like thunderstorms or fireworks. 

If you think the noise of roof replacement will drive your pets crazy, find somewhere for them to stay until after the project.

Take valuable things off the wall 

A roof replacement causes vibrations throughout your home, especially if you opt for hand-nailing as the installation method. Now, these vibrations probably won’t knock things off your wall. 

But if you have something valuable, important, or irreplaceable, just take it down until the job is completed to be safe. 

Move your vehicles

On the day of your roof replacement, your driveway will have a dump truck/trailer and other vehicles. Whether you plan to leave or not, moving your vehicles before your contractor shows up is important to avoid getting blocked in. 

If you do get blocked in, the entire process has to stop, and everything must be cleared so you can get through.

Turn off your irrigation system 

While vehicles should never be on your grass, the installers will be walking on it. If it’s freshly watered, walking on the wet grass damages your yard.

If you have an irrigation system, I recommend shutting it off a day or two before your roof replacement to avoid this happening. 

Inspect your property

The day before your roof replacement, walk around your property to check for torn window screens, dented gutters, damaged light fixtures, or any other existing damage. Whether you find damage or not, take pictures of the areas around your home and roof before the replacement process begins. 

That way, you’ll know if damage was caused during the roof replacement or if it was already there. 

Don’t set your security alarm 

Remember, a roof replacement causes vibrations. While it’s unlikely, the vibrations and noise could possibly set your security alarm off.

So, always lock your doors, but don’t set your alarm if you decide to leave while your roof is being installed.

Want something with all the tasks you should do before the day of roof replacement? Get the Preparing for Your Roof Replacement checklist

How long does it take to replace a roof?

Most roofs on the average home can be replaced in a day. If you have a larger home, it could take two to three days to replace the roof. 

It could even take five days to a couple of weeks on more complicated roofs with a premium material. However, the time it takes to complete your roof replacement all comes down to some key factors. 

How long it takes to replace your roof depends on:

  • Roof size, complexity, and pitch
  • Accessibility of your roof
  • How much decking needs to be replaced
  • The roofing material 
  • The weather
  • Time of year
  • Size of the crew

All of the factors above directly impact a roof replacement’s timeline. However, you’ll find most roofs can be replaced in a day.

What does the roof replacement process look like?

Even if it only takes a day, the actual roof replacement process is chaotic, with many moving parts. However, a reputable roofing contractor controls this chaos and creates a smooth process. 

Let's look at the the roof replacement process from start to finish.

Materials delivered to home

The first step of the roof replacement process is getting the materials delivered to your home the afternoon before or the morning of your replacement. They’ll be kept in a dry area on a paved surface near the roof access point.

roofing materials on a pallet in the driveway after being delivered by the supplier

Walk through and taking pictures of existing damage

Before the job starts, the roofing contractor will walk around your property looking for and photo-documenting existing damage. Just like you did to prepare for the roof replacement, they do this as a liability if there’s finger-pointing at the end.

photo documentation of existing damage before roof replacement

Property protection set up around home

Now, we’re ready to start the actual roof replacement process by preparing your property for the roof tear-off. They’ll start tarping the ground for a dump zone, cover landscaping around the roof line, cover your pool (if you have one), and anything else on your property that could be damaged by debris.

property protection set up for roof replacement

Tearing off old roof

After your contractor covers everything, they’ll begin tearing off your old roof in sections. Most of the crew will be on the roof, while a few others stay on the ground to ensure all debris gets picked up. 

They’ll start tearing off your old roofing materials at the furthest corner away and work back towards the dump area until there’s a clear roof deck. Once the decking is clear, they’ll hammer down existing nails (or completely pull them out on exposed ceilings) to ensure they’re straight and flush with the wood.

tearing off old asphalt shingles

Installing new roofing components and roofing material

Once the decking is ready to handle the new materials, it’s time to install your new roof.

The first thing installed will be the drip edge on the rakes and eaves (edges of your roof) before laying down underlayment over your roof decking. It’s crucial that the drip edge is installed over the top of the underlayment at the edges to prevent water from getting underneath. 

They’ll also install ice and water shield in your valleys, around penetrations, and other vulnerable areas for added water protection. With everything else in place, a row of starter shingles are installed on the eaves and rakes that seal the actual shingles to the edges. 

After that, your shingles are installed per the manufacturer’s installation instructions up your roof’s ridge. During the shingle installation, they’ll also replace the flashing and add your new roof vents.

Once the shingles reach the top of your roof, they’ll install capping at the ridge(s). After the ridge capping is installed, your roof is now completely sealed from top to bottom. 

installing new roof

Clean up

After your new roof has been installed, clean-up begins. Using a leaf blower, they’ll blow off your roof and gutters to ensure all the leftover debris gets down on the dump tarps..

After they get off your roof, they’ll spend a couple of hours on the ground rolling up all the tarps, getting their tools, and ensuring everything is cleaned up. Once everything is picked up, they’ll go all over your property with a strong magnet two or three times to ensure no nails are left behind.

magnet with nails and trash picked up after roof replacement

Final walkthrough

With the crew gone and your roof replacement complete, the roofing contractor should do a final walkthrough. They’ll check the workmanship and installation quality to make sure it matches the high standards you and manufacturers expect. 

They’ll also double-check the areas known to leak frequently (around penetrations, skylights, chimneys, etc.) and make sure they’re properly protected. When they get off your roof, they’ll take one last look around your property, picking up missed trash and one final magnet sweep.

After that, you’ll do a walkthrough with them, ask questions, check for potential damage, and, once satisfied, finish paying for your new roof.

new roof after roof replacement

Does your new roof need maintenance?

Yes, your new roof needs periodic maintenance after it’s installed. I understand I’m saying this as a roofing contractor, and you may think it’s just a way for a roofer to get more money out of you. 

However, maintenance is crucial to your roof, just like an oil change is to your car.

Why is roof maintenance important?

After your roof replacement is completed, it’s crucial to have it maintained throughout its life. Roof maintenance keeps your roof running smoothly by periodically checking vulnerable areas and its overall condition. 

However, it also ensures your roof’s life is maximized, costly problems are caught before they can start and gives you peace of mind. 

How often does your new roof need maintenance?

Depending on the type of roofing material, it will be annual, biannual, or quarterly maintenance. However, I always recommend maintaining your roof at least once a year, especially for asphalt shingles.

Roof maintenance goes a long way toward the long-term health of your new roof, but it isn’t free, with the cost ranging anywhere from $120 to $400. However, most companies offer maintenance programs with their replacement.

Should you sign up for a roofing contractor’s maintenance program?

You should definitely sign up for a maintenance program if your roofing contractor has one. This keeps your roof maintained regularly, so you don’t even have to think about it. 

Some offer it for free for a few years or so before charging a yearly price, while others have a flat price right out of the gate. While it does cost money, these programs usually come with other perks like gutter cleaning, discounts, priority appointments, and a full report of your roof’s condition on top of an annual inspection.

How do you hire a great roofing contractor for your roof replacement?

Everything from the pricing, finished quality, workmanship warranty, and anything in between comes down to the roofing contractor you hire. That’s why the most important decision you’ll make for your roof replacement is hiring a great company.

Below is what to look for and other tips to hire a great roofing contractor in your area. 

Use Google reviews and other online resources

Check out the Google reviews of your area's top local roofing contractors and their reviews from the last 3-6 months for current homeowner experiences. This gives you an idea of the final quality, if the company stands behind their work, and how they interact with customers. 

Also, look at other online resources like the Better Business Bureau, “Best of” lists, and other recommendation websites like Nextdoor. Just keep in mind that these lists and reviews can be taken to the extreme one way or the other. 

Only consider local roofing contractors

Every roofing contractor you consider must be local to your area, with a physical office and a phone number with the local area code. This ensures local codes are followed, all appropriate paperwork is in place, and you can find them if you have a problem. 

This also helps you avoid falling victim to out-of-state storm-chasing companies that undercut local roofing contractors and don’t know (or care) about local codes. This isn’t to say all out-of-state roofing companies are bad, but hiring locally ensures your roof replacement complies with your state’s requirements.

Ask any roofing contractor for proof that they’re licensed, bonded, and insured

A roofing contractor being licensed, bonded, and insured ensures your roofing project is done right and protects you if it isn’t. Each state has different requirements, so you’ll need to research your local codes to learn the appropriate permits and paperwork required in your area. 

However, I recommend looking for a roofing company with all three, regardless of your state's requirements. Ask for physical copies as proof before working with any potential roofing contractor.

Don’t go into the roof replacement process with a cheap mindset

Looking for the cheapest price available makes you a prime target to be taken advantage of by a bad roofer. Once they know you’re pricing shopping, they’ll lower their prices to outbid others. 

Unfortunately, they reach these lower prices using cheaper materials and labor. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial not to look for the lowest price and the cheapest roofing contractor you can find. 

Find a roofing contractor that offers long-term protection

You should only consider roofing contractors that offer long-term protection with a strong workmanship warranty. While workmanship warranties vary from 1 to 10 to 25 years, or even a lifetime, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than a 10-year warranty.  

If a roofing contractor takes pride in their work and does everything the right way, they should have no problem offering a 20, 25, or lifetime workmanship warranty. 

Ask the right questions when meeting with potential roofing contractors

When meeting with potential roofing contractors, one of the most important things to do is ask the right questions. Asking questions is the best way to determine if they do things the right way, know what they’re talking about, and if they have your interest in mind. 

Here are just some of the questions every homeowner needs to ask a roofing contractor:

  • What shingle manufacturers do you use, and are you certified by them?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Have you worked in this neighborhood?
  • Do you use drip edge?
  • What is your cleanup process?
  • How long has the crew that will install my roof been with you?

To get a downloadable and printable version of these questions and more to use when meeting local roofers, get the Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor Checklist.

Need a roof replacement in Nashville, TN?

At this point, you have all the information you need to start your roof replacement journey and reach out to a local roofing contractor in your area. But don't hesitate to reach out if you need a new roof in Nashville, Franklin, Brentwood, or another surrounding Middle Tennessee area. 

Over the last 30-plus years, Bill Ragan Roofing has replaced thousands of roofs in Nashville, TN. The customer experience, your peace of mind, and our workmanship are always at the forefront of our minds, which is why we provide a lifetime craftsmanship warranty.

There’s a reason we say, “When you work with us, you’ll never worry about your roof again.” 

Request a Free Quote or call the office at 615-242-0333 to get the peace of mind you deserve.

If you still need more roofing information, visit our Learning Center to continue your roofing education.