The Roof Replacement Process: Everything You Need to Know
If your roof is starting to show signs of wear and tear, it’s probably time for a replacement. A roof replacement can be a daunting process, but don’t worry! We’re here to walk you through everything you need to know. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps involved in a roof replacement, the different materials that are typically used, and the average cost of the process.
Table of Contents:
- Why Choose Roof Replacement
- Steps in the Roof Replacement Process
- Roof Inspection
- Choose Your Roofing
- Roofing Materials
- Cost of Materials
- Roofing Financing
- Property Preparation
- Material Deliveries
- Remove Old Roofing Materials
- Clean Gutters
- Replace Flashing
- Install New Underlayment
- Install the Water and Ice Shield
- Install New Roofing Materials/Shingles
- The Importance of a High-Quality Contractor
- Site Cleanup
Why Choose Roof Replacement?
A roof replacement might be a better option for you than repair if any of the following are true: there is significant damage, massive leaks, or poor material on your current roof. The most common reason to replace rather than repair a roof is that it has reached the end of its lifespan. Here are the average lifespans of the most common roofing materials in the south:
- 3-Tab Composition (10-15 Years)
- Dimensional Composition (15-25 Years)
- Presidential Composition (25-40 Years)
- Tile (40-50 Years)
- Wood Shake (15-20 Years)
- Metal (20-40 Years)
If your roof is old, needs repair, or has been damaged in a storm, you may need to replace it. Once you have decided to replace your roof, you need to be prepared for what will come next.
Steps in the Roof Replacement Process
The roof replacement process can be broken down into a few simple steps. We’ll go into more detail on each of these steps later in the blog post.
The first step is to have your roof professionally inspected. Most high-quality roofing contractors will offer a FREE roofing inspection so you can get a complete evaluation of your roof’s condition. A roof inspection will help you determine whether or not you need a roof replacement and, if so, what kind of materials would be best for your situation.
Choose Your Roofing Materials:
The next step in the roof replacement process is to choose the type of roofing you want. Many different roofing materials are available, each with benefits and drawbacks. You’ll likely have to replace your roof with the same material that is currently on your home but if you can choose, here are some of the main typical roofing materials:
- 3-Tab Composition
- Dimensional Composition
- Presidential Composition
- Wood Shake
Cost of Materials:
While items like flashing and underlayment are fairly constant across roof replacements, the cost of overlay material can vary widely depending on the type of material you choose. For example, asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable roofing options, while tile roofing is the top-end of the market. Here is a breakdown of the average cost of roofing materials:
- Asphalt Shingles ($3.00 – $6.00 per square foot)
- Wood Shakes/Shingles ($12.00-$24.00 per square foot)
- Metal Roofing ($9.00 – $18.00 per square foot)
- Tile ($7.00 – $16.00 per square foot)
The actual cost will vary depending on the size and pitch of your roof, the type of roofing you choose, and the complexity of the roof replacement job itself.
The cost of a roof replacement can be significant, so it’s important to plan and budget for the project. You can pay for your new roof in a variety of ways including home loans, credit cards, and cash however financing with your roofing contractor directly may be the best option. Many roofing contractors offer financing options to help make the roof replacement process more affordable.
It’s important to keep inflation in mind here as well. With the inflation rate surpassing the average interest rate on home improvement loans, locking in a fixed-cost means you’ll save money in the short term and long term. Some roofing companies (especially us) offer roof financing that can get you a new roof for as low as $60 per month, depending on the size of your home.
Once you’ve chosen your roofing and budgeted for the project, it’s time to prepare your property for replacement. You’ll need to provide space for the construction team, materials, and tools. It is also recommended that you clear any large branches, shrubs, or debris that would impede the replacement. It’s important to note that many roofing contractors will incorporate site preparation into their replacement bids, so don’t forget to ask what’s included before you begin.
The roofing materials will be delivered to your home next. This is generally accomplished a few days before the actual roof replacement begins. As we previously stated, make sure you have informed your contractor where they should be placed and that there is sufficient clearance for the goods to be unloaded.
Remove Old Roofing Materials:
To continue the roof replacement process, you must first remove the old roofing materials. The roof is stripped down to bare plywood or OSB sheathing to perform this task. The roofing contractor will also inspect the roof decking for any water damage or rot. Once the old roof is removed, any necessary repairs are made to the roof decking. It can be quite challenging to estimate this cost and damage until after the old roof is removed, so make sure you know how much your contractor charges per sheet of replaced wood. Put some extra money aside just in case repairs are needed. Also, ensure that your chosen contractor provides photos of any damage so that you aren’t being charged for something unnecessary.
Once the old roofing materials have been removed, it’s time to clean out your gutters. This helps ensure that they are free of debris and ready to catch any water that might come off your new roof.
The next crucial step is to replace any non-existent or damaged flashing. Flashing helps direct water away from your roof and home, which “step flashing” does along walls and chimneys specifically. Although it’s a small part of the roofing system, flashing needs to be in excellent condition before continuing with the new installation so that there are no issues later on. This is a job that many roofers ignore. Some roofers may save time and money by reusing all of the flashings on the roof, but we don’t recommend it.
Install New Underlayment:
The roof replacement process continues with the installation of new underlayment. Underlayment is a water-resistant barrier that protects your roof from leaks. It’s put over the roof decking before new roofing materials are installed.
Install the Water and Ice Shield:
In some roofing jobs, a water and ice shield is also installed. This is a membrane that may be applied to roof edges, valleys, roof to walls, and anywhere else water might collect on your roof. This shield is applied to further protect your roof against leaks. This step is especially important if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or rain.
Install New Roofing Materials:
Once the underlayment is situated, you can finally roof your home with new materials. The time this will take and the difficulty of installation depends on which roofing material you select. If you want asphalt shingles – which are the most popular – your roofer will place them accordingly to ensure a thorough seal over your rooftops.
The final step in the roof replacement process is to clean up any debris that might have been left behind during the roof replacement. This includes roofing nails, old roofing materials, and any other construction waste. It’s important to make sure that your contractor leaves your property as clean as it was when they arrived so you can enjoy your new roof worry-free!
The Importance of a High-Quality Contractor
Now that you know the roof replacement process, it’s important to find a roofing contractor that you can trust. This is not a job that should be performed by amateurs as it’s crucial to the safety of your home. A high-quality roofing contractor will ensure that your roof is installed correctly and up to code so you can sleep soundly at night knowing your family is safe.
If you’re considering replacing your roof, we hope this guide helped explain the process. Remember, finding a reputable roofing contractor is a key to ensuring a smooth replacement process and a high-quality result.
Ready to Start Your Roof Replacement?
If you’re thinking about replacing your roof, we can help.
Roof MD is one of the Top Roofing Contractors in Tennessee with a perfect 5-Star Rating on Google. We offer FREE Roofing Inspections, Replacement Quotes, and a plethora of financing options to make the process easy and affordable. Book your FREE Roofing Inspection below to get started.