Find Roofing Pros Near YouLearn about the pros and cons of replacing or repairing your roof. Discover which materials are best to use and where to find roofing contractors.
One of the most important parts of your home is your roof. A damaged roof leads to problems throughout the rest of your house. Fixing your roof may be expensive, but not treating your roof ultimately costs you much more in repairs. On average, roofs are designed to last 30 years. This may vary based on your location. For example, if you live in a particularly snowy area your roof is more likely to break down quicker. Taking care of your roof can mitigate these issues, but even the most proactive homeowners will still require occasional repairs.
Leaking and other water damage is the most common sign your roof needs repairs. There are also physical indications, such as sagging or drooping tiles. You may also notice mold, moss or other plants growing along your roof. Cracked shingles or visible seals are also indicators your roof is starting to fall apart. An early warning sign is your gutters rusting, as this indicates there are seams in your roof where water is starting to leak through, even if it hasn’t reached the interior of your home.
Repairs vs. Replacement
The first decision you must make if your roof is damaged is whether you want to repair or replace the roof. Replacing your roof takes longer and is more expensive, but provides a brand-new roof, which is less likely to experience future issues until years later. There are also cosmetic benefits to replacing your roof, since you can choose new materials. While this is an option with making repairs, the new materials may clash with the existing ones, requiring you to cover up portions of your roof. Replacing your roof is also more thorough than making repairs. In many cases, there are unseen issues with your roof, which can only be identified when you fully remove and replace the existing layers.
It is typically easier to receive financial assistance for roof repairs. This is because many insurance companies will only pay to fix existing issues. Unless your roof is severely damaged, a full replacement is considered nonessential, so you are required to pay out of pocket. Certain materials are also easier to repair than replace, such as metal roofs.
There are many materials you can use for your roof. Asphalt is the most common material in most neighborhoods because it is readily available and one of the least expensive roofing options. Asphalt is a heavier material, making it harder to repair. Most homes can only support a second layer of asphalt shingles without causing damage to the roof framing. There are a few variations of asphalt available. On average, you can expect to pay $7,000 to $12,000, but higher quality asphalt costs between $9,000 to $20,000.
Wooden shingles are an attractive option, combining cosmetics with durability. While it looks good, wood shingles are fairly expensive, costing around $14,000 to $25,000, based on the type of wood. This is as much as some of the metal roofing options, which last longer and are better in difficult climates. Most metal roofs are made out of either steel or aluminum.
Slate roofing looks incredible, and while the material is strong and durable, it is also the most expensive, costing between $25,000 to $50,000. Slate is both heavy and slippery to walk on, which makes repairs difficult. In most cases, it is easier to fully replace a slate roof instead of making repairs. Clay or ceramic tiles are similar in price to slate, but are lighter and easier to repair. Clay or ceramic tiles are most often used in warmer climates.
Repairing and Replacement Process
The actual process to make repairs to a roof is fairly basic. Depending on the damage, contractors will either remove the damage portion and replace it with new shingles, or install new shingles over the damaged layer. How long it takes depends on the extent of the damage and the material used, but most repairs are completed within one day. Contractor rates vary, but you can expect to pay between $40 to $80 an hour.
Replacing your roof involves removing all the existing materials and laying down a new base layer, then installing shingles. Removing the existing roof, costs about $1 to $5 per square foot, depending on the material. If you need to install a new support to install heavier materials, this can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, based on the previous materials and what material you want to use. Replacement takes anywhere from four days to a week. If you are using the same materials as the previous roof, the process goes much quicker, as there are fewer inspections necessary.
There are several options to either reduce or completely cover the costs of hiring a roofing contractor. Your first option is paying with homeowners insurance. All homeowners are required to have insurance, but your coverage greatly varies depending on the provider. In most cases, if your roof was damaged as the result of natural disaster or a fire, your insurance will cover the costs. If the damage occurred over a long period of time, you are responsible for the costs.
If you cannot use your insurance, you can apply for a home equity loan. This allows you to finance the repairs using the value of your home as collateral. If your home equity has dropped, you may have limited loan options. Equity loans have much lower interest rates compared to personal loans or other finance options.
Another loan option is to apply for assistance through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD has special options for lower-income individuals who are normally unable to afford repairs or apply for loans. There are also general loans available with fixed interest rates and longer repayment times.
Hiring a Roofing Contractor
Both roof repairs and replacements are difficult projects that require specialized tools and experience. Even if you are a roofing expert, repairs and replacement require a small team to quickly complete, so it is worth hiring a contractor. Always take the time to research potential contractors. Make sure they are properly insured and have the necessary certification and experience. Ask for a free consultation and sign a contract before committing to hire a contractor. Prioritize contractors that offer warranties.
There are several websites you can use to find local roofing contractors in your area. Thumbtack is one of the oldest sites to find contractors. Thumbtack is divided into over 500 categories, so you can easily narrow in on a contractor to fit your roofing needs. Another reliable site is HomeAdvisor, which prescreens all contractors to ensure they have the necessary training and experience.
CMR Construction & Roofing is one of the largest roofing contractors in the United States. The company specializes in repairs, replacement and can install a number of materials, ranging from simple asphalt to specialized woods. In addition to carrying home improvement supplies, Lowe’s also offers repairs and replacements. Lowe’s also provides free consultation and offers a two-year warranty for any repair or replacement.