Deciding to repair or replace a roof can be a daunting task. Taking into consideration several factors, especially the age of a roof, sometimes it’s better to replace rather than repair even if the repair appears small or inconsequential.
1) How much does it cost to replace my roof?
There is no simple answer to this question as every home is different. A bid from your contractor should be based on square footage, the pitch of roof, accessibility, type of roofing material needed, whether its a 1 or 2+ story home, removal of old roof (if necessary), roof or construction permits, city license, and labor. The average cost to replace a roof could run as little as $2.000.00 to upwards of $15,000 or more depending on the size and type of the roof and the quality of the workmanship and materials.
2) What are some of the factors that would indicate I should go with a roof replacement instead of roof repairs?
While areas of the roof that need repairs are relatively easy to identify, determining if a roof needs replacement is a more complicated matter. If your roof is leaking in multiple locations, you most likely need a full roof replacement. Roofs that have noticeable sag on one or more sides are typically suffering from structural problems that will require a replacement to fix. If more than a third of the shingles on the roof are damaged, missing or covered with moss or algae, the roof should be replaced. Age is another factor that deserves consideration. If the roof is more than fifteen or twenty years old, it’s probably best to replace it rather than continually patching or repairing it. Replacing the roof while it still has a bit of life left in it will help speed things along and can prevent deeper structural issues from arising.
3) Will my homeowner’s insurance cover a roof replacement?
It’s likely that your insurance will cover the cost of having your roof replaced. Contact your insurance company representative before having a roofing contractor out to give you an estimate, as the insurance company may require that repairs be performed by roofing contractors inside of their network. Be honest with your insurance company about the problems with your roof and why it needs to be replaced immediately. Be sure to find out the exact amount that the insurance company will cover and be sure to have this in mind when dealing with roofing contractors.
4) Can I install the new roof over the old one?
If you have a shingle roof, then it’s likely that this is an option. There are a few advantages to this, including having your existing roof shingles provide an extra layer of moisture protection. Where this is unlikely to be possible is in situations where there are structural or systematic issues with the roof underlay or framing. If your shingles aren’t the cause of the issues in your roof, it may need to be ripped off entirely to have a new roof put in its place.
Although the advantages to leaving your old shingles are obvious (cheaper, less labor, faster), unless the initial roof is a single, problem-free layer, you could be setting yourself up for trouble. Generally, experts estimate that the life of your new roof will be cut by as much as 20% if it is installed on top of the existing roof.
5) How long will it take to replace my roof?
Replacing a roof is a labor-intensive project and, depending on the type of roof, could take anywhere from a few days to 2 or more weeks. The time involved is substantially affected by the weather, as well. Wind, snow, rain, or even just the threat of one of these can slow the process considerably.
For built-up roofs, removing and replacing the roof will probably proceed at a rate of approximately 1,500 square feet per day. For single-ply roofs, the rate is closer to 2,000 to 4,000 square feet per day. Careful planning and close project management can reduce some of the delays caused by bad weather.