Your roof, no matter how sturdy it may be, will eventually fail and need to be replaced. When it nears the end of its lifespan, it will show some signs that it’s due for replacement. Take heed of those signs. They might just give you enough time to save for a new roof and find a reputable roof replacement contractor you’d be comfortable with.
Signs of a Failing Roof
Different types of roofing materials may show different signs that a replacement is in order. For asphalt shingle roofs, the most popular roofing materials in North America, these are the key signs to watch out for:
- Your roof is 20 years or older. This is the average lifespan of asphalt shingle roofs. Note that your roof’s lifespan may be shorter or longer than 20 years depending on different factors, including the weather conditions in your location and the quality of attic ventilation. Whatever the condition of your roof when it reaches this milestone, however, it’s time to start looking for a contractor and planning for replacement.
- Algae infestation. Blue-green algae cause dark streaks that make your roof unsightly. The spores get carried by the wind and land on roofs, so if there is at least one home in your neighborhood with an affected roof, it’s only a matter of time before yours is too. Note that this does not affect your roof’s effectiveness, but if you don’t like the way it looks anymore, it might be time to replace it.
- Curling or cupping shingles. The edges of your shingles are cupped or curled. This means they’re way past their prime. It might also mean your attic needs improved ventilation. Talk to your roof replacement contractor about making the necessary adjustments before installing a new roof.
- Shingle bald spots. Your asphalt shingles came with granules that protect them from UV rays. If you find shingles with bald spots, i.e., no more granules, it’s time to start thinking about a roof replacement. You’ll often find those granules on the ground or in your gutters towards the end of your roof’s lifespan.
- Missing or broken shingles. One or two missing shingles might not be a huge concern just yet. You can call a professional for emergency roof repair if it’s due to bad weather. However, if there are too many missing or broken shingles, and your roof is getting on in years anyway, it’s time to start calling contractors for roof replacement estimates.
- The repairs are getting more frequent and more expensive. This is usually a sign that your roof is due for a replacement. It is more cost effective to invest in a new roof than to continue spending more money on repairing a failing roof.
- Your roof suffered severe damage during a storm. While an emergency roof repair might be enough to get your roof back to form, this usually works when the damage is smaller. If a storm tore off half of your roof, it’s probably time to replace the whole thing.
Finding a Roofer
Timing is very important if you need a roofer. If you observe any of the signs mentioned above, don’t ignore them. It’s time to save for a replacement, and it’s also time to look for a contractor you can trust.
It’s crucial to start the vetting process early because you don’t know how long it will take to find the right contractor or what their availability might be. This is especially true if you’re interested in hiring a solar roofing contractor, as the roof they will install isn’t an ordinary shingle roof.
Here are some tips on how to find the right roofing contractor.
- Get local referrals. Local contractors are already familiar with the rules and regulations in your area. They can also pull the necessary permits immediately. Plus, you lower your chances of getting scammed when you work with a local contractor.
- Ask a friend or relative who recently had their roof replaced. You can be sure that they’ll give you an honest review of what it was like to work with the contractor. They can give you warnings or tips.
- Manufacturer certifications are good indicators of a contractor’s good standing. Ask the contractor or check their website for those manufacturer designations.
- Check with the BBB or Better Business Bureau. The BBB assigns ratings to businesses based on customer experience.
You can also ask a few important questions when you speak with your candidate roofers. These questions can help you determine whether the contractor is trustworthy. They can also give you an idea of how it would be to work with them.
- What will you be inspecting in my home before you give me an estimate? If the roofer gives you an estimate without even entering your home or looking around, don’t call them again.
- Can you give me a detailed estimate with a breakdown of all the expenses?
- Can you provide a quote for new roof installation, replacement, and possible repairs?
- How much would the removal of the old roof cost?
- Who will be responsible for its disposal? If it’s the roofer, how much would be added to the quote?
- What type of insurance do you have? Workers’ compensation should be included because you don’t want to be liable if something happens to their workers while they’re on your property.
- Do you have a warranty for your workmanship? While not all roofers offer warranties for their workmanship, they should at least tell you upfront so you know about their limitations.
- Do you use subcontractors? If the contractor uses subcontractors, ask for a list of names and numbers so you can vet them, as well.
- Who will be the point person or project manager? You should meet this person before the project begins to see if you’re comfortable working with them.
- Don’t settle for the first roofing contractor you find. You should get quotations from at least three different contractors.
- It’s fine to ask how many roofing projects they’re working on at the same time they’re working on yours. This will give you an idea of how much focus they’ll be giving your project.
- If you can time your roof replacement project for fall, that’s a great season for it. Most roofers aren’t as busy and the weather is favorable for roofing projects.