Do you ever look up a restaurant’s menu and decide what to order before you even get there? (Guilty!) At the end of the day, there’s no shame in being prepared so that you end up ordering the best meal possible.
It’s wise to be prepared before any important event (that may be more significant than choosing what to eat at a restaurant, but hey, we don’t judge), such as a job interview, international flight, or major home service project.
Today we’ll be sharing seven expert roof replacement tips for your upcoming roofing project. Just think of this guide as the roofing equivalent to an online menu.
1) Be Aware of (And Don’t Hire) Storm Chasers
Living in North Carolina means that storms are a regular occurrence. If you’re considering getting a roof replacement after an intense wind or hail storm, you need to be aware of storm chasers.
Roof storm chasers are usually out-of-state contractors who drive to areas recently affected by storms to try and take advantage of vulnerable homeowners. Storm chasers will show up at your door with an offer that sounds too good to be true (and often is).
Now, keep in mind that many reputable and trustworthy roofing companies will also knock on your door after a storm to offer their services. You can differentiate storm chasers from legit companies because storm chasers will:
- Demand cash upfront
- Be unable to show proof of licensure and insurance
- Offer to pay for your insurance deductible
- Charge for an inspection
- Create damage on your roof
- Be unable to share a local address for their business
- Charge a shockingly low price for their services
- Use high-pressure sales tactics and “limited-time offer” claims
Listen to your gut. If something feels off about a sales pitch on your front porch, don’t hire them. Instead, do your research by asking for referrals and reading online reviews for legitimate local roofing companies.
2) Never Get a Roof-Over or Partial Replacement
Many, many years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for people to install a new layer of shingles over the old ones. But more industry knowledge and experience have proven that getting a “roof-over” is a bad idea.
Roof-overs present many issues, including:
- Difficult to find and fix leaks
- Adds extra weight to your roof
- Shortens the lifespan of the new shingles
- Demands more expensive work when both layers eventually need replacement
Similarly, it isn’t wise to get a partial roof replacement. Only replacing half your roof will lead to voided warranties, a lower home value, and more money spent in the long run. Don’t hire any roofing contractor that offers to replace half your roof— any reputable roofer would advise against it.
3) Learn the Basics of a Complete Roofing System
There are a lot of vocabulary words in the roofing world, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the most common terms so you can be prepared for your roof replacement project. A good professional company will take the time to educate you about your roof, but it’s still wise to have a basic understanding of the important components.
- Decking: The roof deck is the plywood foundation of the roof where the shingles attach. (This is sometimes called the sheathing.)
- Underlayment: This is a water-resistant barrier between the decking and the shingles, often made of durable felt, tar paper, or synthetic materials.
- Vents: These are small protrusions on your roof that allow heat to escape from the attic.
- Flashing: Flashing is a metal strip that covers any gaps. Common areas to install flashing are the base of your chimney, vents, and valleys.
- Soffit: The soffit is the exposed siding underneath your roof’s overhang.
- Roofing Square: One roofing square is equal to 100 square feet.
4) Write Down Questions to Ask Potential Roofing Contractors
Choosing a trustworthy roofing contractor is of the utmost importance. Even the most durable roofing materials on the market mean nothing if they aren’t properly installed. Use this list of questions to vet potential roofing companies:
- Are you licensed and insured?
- What warranties do you offer for both materials and labor?
- Are you local? What’s your service area?
- Who is responsible for obtaining the right permits?
- Can I see images of past work completed in my area?
- What manufacturers do you use?
- Do you offer financing?
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you follow local building codes?
- Do you help with roof replacement insurance claims?
5) Remember That You Get What You Pay For
It’s a smart move to get two or three estimates if you don’t already have a preferred roofing contractor. However, keep in mind that even though it may be tempting to jump at an offer that is significantly lower than the other estimates, the quality may not be up to par.
Usually, a higher cost indicates higher quality. And when you’re making such a significant investment, you need to feel confident that the work will be done right the first time. Try to find a happy medium with a team that you trust and a price you appreciate.
6) Move Valuables Out of the Way on Replacement Day
Roof replacements consist of lots of hauling, nailing, and tearing. Even though your roofing team will take the utmost care to ensure your property stays clean and damage-free, it’s still smart to take some of it into your own hands.
Follow these tips to keep your personal belongings damage-free on the day of your replacement:
- Remove wall decorations
- Cover belongings in your attic with old sheets
- Move your vehicles onto the street
- Move patio furniture away from the work zone
- Mow your lawn a couple of days before the project (this keeps debris from hiding in your grass)
- Remove satellite dishes from your roof
7) Give Your Neighbors a Heads Up
It’s no secret that roof replacements are noisy. Even though most shingle roofs can be replaced in a day or two, it’s still a kind courtesy to let your neighbors know about the upcoming work. They will appreciate the heads up so that they can choose whether or not to stay home that day!
Choosing a Reliable Roofing Contractor Is the Best Thing You Can Do
The only way to guarantee a successful roof replacement that keeps your home protected for years to come is by hiring a trustworthy roofing company. At Tidds Roofing, we ensure your roof is installed correctly the first time so that you can get back to what’s important.
We’re happy to answer any and all of your questions about the roof replacement process so that you can feel confident in the work being performed.
Reach out today to schedule a free roof inspection!