If you’re like many homeowners in Portland, OR, you probably don’t think about your roof unless there’s a problem. Whether there’s a major leak or your roofing system is showing the affects of old age, there comes a time when roof replacement is necessary. Before you commit to making such a major investment, there are a few things you should know about roofs and their installation.
While we’ve all seen tin-roofed homes that are still standing after nearly a century, the average residential roof lasts from 15 – 25 years. There are several factors that can prolong the life of your roof, including:
Due to the cost of a roof replacement, it may be tempting to patch it and put off a new roof until another day. Such measures are only temporary solutions that will weaken your existing roof and put the rest of your home in danger. When you add up the cost of repeated repairs, you’ll find that it’s probably more cost-effective to schedule a roof installation instead.
Here are five sure-fire signs that your roof will need replacement within the next 12 months.
So you know what you’re looking out for but you might be asking yourself…
The most popular choice for residential roofs is shingles, but you also have the option of choosing metal, wood, or tile. When you digger deeper into those categories, you’ll find that there are several alternatives for style and type of material. Let’s break them down.
Shingles: Asphalt shingles have been the residential roof material of choice almost from the time they entered the market. They’re cost-effective, light, and easy to install. Now, they’re available in a range of colors and styles, which include:
Metal: Metal roofing has some a long way from the tin roofs of old. New sheet metals roofs are available in a range of colors, they’re acrylic-coated for extended wear, and they surprisingly flexible. There are two types of metal roofs, standing seam or ribbed panels, and less expensive alternatives like metal shingles and stone-coated steel tiles. These materials last longer than traditional shingles – up to 50 years – and they can withstand winds up to 150 miles per hour.
Tile: Roofing materials in this category range from clay tiles to slate slabs. These are highly decorative and durable, but they require a more stable substrate to hold the extra weight. Clay and slate can look great even after 100 years, and concrete is good for up to 75. However, pieces can become dangerous projectiles if they break off in hurricane-force winds.
Wood: Cedar shake or shingles are the wood of choice for roofing. They lend a woodsy tone, and the color mellows nicely with age. The average lifespan is 30 years, but they can still protect your home for up to 40 with proper care. Cedar shingles can tolerate winds up to 110 miles per hour if properly installed.
The next element you should consider about your new roof is if it’s better to get a complete tear-off and new installation or a re-roof, which is also called an overlay. Your roofing contractor can go over the finer points of each option as they apply to your situation, but here is some background on each type of roof installation.
This is the process of completely removing your existing roof and replacing it with a new one. If there is any moisture damage or rot to the substructure, this will be replaced too. It’s like starting all over again.
Tear-off is an option if there is extensive damage to your existing roof, if you’ve already had an overlay, or if you’re switching to an entirely new roof system, such as from metal to architectural shingles or vice-versa. The advantages are that it will last longer, and it’s more durable. Any vulnerable or high-risk areas will be addressed at this time rather than covered-up. Having a new roof put on your home is also a great selling point, and you may be eligible for a tax credit in some circumstances. The only possible drawback is that it’s more expensive.
Re-roofing is exactly what it sounds like: a new layer of shingles applied over your existing roof. An overlay is only possible under three conditions:
Having your home re-roofed will take less time and cut the labor cost considerably. However, it may not be as aesthetically pleasing as a new roof, and it won’t last as long due to heat buildup from having two layers of shingles. Your contractor won’t be able to get a look at the decking, so hidden problems might remain hidden until they worsen. It’s also more difficult to spot leaks and other problems later on. Lastly you’re only delaying the inevitable; you’re going to still have to replace the roof at some point.
Now that you’ve gone over your options, you’re probably wondering how much your roof installation will cost. Your roof is designed to protect your assets, so this is not an area where you want to skimp. Our goal is to provide you with the best products and service at a competitive price, and we finance.
The way the cost of a roof is calculated is fairly simple. Pricing is determined based on the square footage of the surface area. For example, architectural shingles average about $4.50 per square foot, and the average home has a 2,000 square-foot roof surface. Other factors that go into the price are the cost of labor, tearing off and disposing of the old roof, permits, and any extras like new decking, gutters, flashing, skylights, or solar panels.
Everything should be spelled out explicitly in the contract, including what is covered in the base estimate and what is an extra charge. The approximate finish date and pay breakdown will also be spelled out in advance. Usually, you’ll pay one-third up front, one-third at the halfway point, and the final installment after final inspection. Any warranties are also written into the contract, one from the manufacturer to cover defects, which depends on the roof materials and life expectancy, and a lifetime warranty from us for the installation The turnaround time depends on the installation type and how badly the roof is damaged.
You have a lot of choices for roofing service in the Northwest, and that’s why HomeMasters goes out of the way to give you more for your money. Whether you choose us for our fast, friendly service, flexibility, or the quality of our products, we’re confident that we’ll exceed your expectations on every level. When you’re searching for a company to install your new roof, look for:
Expertise: You’re looking for a company that’s earned certifications in a range of roof systems, that uses qualified, trained professionals who are part of the team and not day laborers, and who has demonstrated authority in the industry.
Reputation: A company’s reputation is everything in this business. Look for companies that are locally owned and operated, fully licensed and insured, and who are accredited by the BBB and industry-related ratings services like Home Advisor. Recommendations from real customers and good online reviews are a bonus.
Locations: Choosing a local roofing company allows you to support a community-based service provider. It also mean faster assistance, and there’s more incentive to make you happy when your roofing company is also your neighbor.
Availability: You want a company that charges competitive prices that are proportionate with their standing and experience. Cheap isn’t always the best option because you’ll get exactly what you pay for.
Convenience: Is the roofing company you selected open at convenient hours? Are they available 24/7 to provide emergency service? Do they have an established online presence and added value features on their website? Are there multiple ways to contact the company when you need assistance? All of these things add up to superior customer service.
Now that you know who to call, it’s time to make a move. Contact HomeMasters to request a free quote or call (888) 400-1815 to schedule an on-site estimate. There’s no obligation, and your consultation is free.
We love getting to know our customers. If you’re near the Portland Metro area, you’re welcome to visit our showrooms located at Portland East in Boring or Portland SW in Tigard. We’re open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.