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.
How Long Should a Roof Last?
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:
- Installing a rain collection system and keeping it clear of debris. Gutters and rain spouts are essential, especially with the climate in the Northwest. They should be properly installed and kept clear of leaves, stems, and dirt.
- Tending to any leaks and replacing missing shingles right away. Putting it off will only cause further problems, and not just with your roof. Leaks or weak spots lead to structural damage and more costly solutions.
- Scheduling regular inspections. You may not know what to look for, but a roofing professional can probe your roof for weaknesses on the surface and vulnerable areas like flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights. They’ll also be able to detect signs of moisture problems and damage from animals or insects.
- Making sure it’s properly installed. Choosing an established, reputable roofing company to perform your installation will ensure that you’re getting what you pay for in terms of service, materials, and guarantees.
5 Signs That a New Roof is in Your Immediate Future
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.
- You notice bald spots on your roof. This is caused by shingles shedding granules as they deteriorate. You might also spot the grains and small pieces of shingle in your gutters.
- There is a large number of missing or damaged shingles. Replacing one or two shingles is no big deal. But, if huge sections of your roof have shingles missing, or you notice a large number of shingles that are buckled or curling, it’s time for a new roof.
- Your neighbors are getting new roofs. Most homes in your neighborhood were probably built around them same time, meaning that the roofs are roughly the same age. If a large number of home owners in your community are getting new roofs, it may be a sign that yours is nearing the end of its useful life.
- You see dark streaks or organic growth on your roof. These discolorations are due to algae that attaches to your roof. This may not cause structural damage, but it will ruin the aesthetic appeal of your home. If you see moss or mold growing on your roof, this could be a symptom of a moisture problem below the surface. Left unattended, this could lead to structural damage above and below your roof. When you notice seedlings growing anyplace on your roof or in your gutters, it definitely signals lack of maintenance and a high probability that your roof is damaged.
- If your roof is nearing the end of its warranty and you plan to sell within two years. This is a time to get a new roof even if your existing roof is still in good shape. One of the first things a potential buyer will ask is the age of the roof. Having a brand new installation will attract quality buyers. Roof replacement can even add up to $12,000 to the resale value of your home, depending on the type of roof system we install.
So you know what you’re looking out for but you might be asking yourself…
What Are My Roofing Options?
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:
- 3-tab shingles – This is the least expensive selection. They last for about 10 20 years with proper maintenance, and they can withstand winds of up to 70 miles per hour. This is not the best choice if you live in an area that’s prone to severe storms.
- Architectural shingles – Also called dimensional shingles, these add a little more depth to your aesthetic. They’re not purely decorative, however, They’re also more durable, lasting for up to 25 years and withstanding winds up to 110 miles per hour; with special framing, they can even take 130 mph gusts.
- Premium shingles – These high-end shingles were created for designer homes. They’re attractive and highly durable, lasting for up to 30 years. They may also have special features like solar reflectance and superior impact resistance.
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.
New Installation Versus Re-Roofing: Which is Best?
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.
New roof installation: What is it, and what are the pros and cons?
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.
Roof overlay (re-roof): What is it, and what are the pros and cons?
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:
- You haven’t already had a re-roof
- You have the entire surface re-roofed
- Your roof isn’t too old or structurally unsound
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.
How Much Will a New Roof Cost?
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.
What to Look for in a Roofing Company?
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.
Ready to Get a Quote?
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.