Sooner or later, most homeowners have to decide whether it is better to repair or replace a roof. If a roof is not too old, simple repairs may extend its life. On the other hand, sometimes a new roof is the best (or only) option.
General Roof Repairs
If you know it’s been many years since your current roof was installed, watch for missing, torn, curling, cupping or lifting shingles. Aging shingles increasingly lose their protective granules, making them more vulnerable to UV light, hail and other storm damage. If there are not too many aged or damaged shingles, they can often be replaced. Damaged flashing can also be replaced and caulked without the need for a complete overhaul.
Leaks are a sure sign of a damaged roof, which are sometimes easy to detect and resolve. For example, a flashing around a skylight may come loose. However, some leaks are more difficult to detect and/or fix. Multiple leaks may be a sign of a failing roof that needs to be replaced.
While these general roof repairs are helpful, it’s important to remember that an older roof will eventually require a roof replacement. Consider this before delaying the roof replacement because it may result in even more expensive repairs down the road, including those to the sub-roofing that can add extra expense.
Time for Roof Replacement Service
As a roof ages, repairs may increase in cost and frequency to the point that a roof replacement becomes a cost-effective alternative. Rather than struggling with the inevitable challenges presented by an older roof, choosing to invest in a new roof brings a refreshing sense of confidence that the updated roof will perform with minimal maintenance and repairs for many years to come. In many instances, newer roofing materials come with substantial warranties lasting 20 plus years; the majority of shingles have a “lifetime” warranty.
Although roof replacement services require a substantial investment, a new roof will give you years of performance with minimal maintenance.
The Roof Replacement Process
When it’s time to replace your roof, look for reputable local contractors offering roof replacement services, get estimates and select the most fitting contractor to remove the existing roofing and install new underlayment and shingles.
Inspections and Estimates
It is wise to invite several reputable roofing contractors to inspect your roof. Compare the advice provided until you are confident of the best approach. Secure bids that use the same specs and choose the roofer you prefer. Bids may refer to the number of “squares” needed. Shingles are sold by the “square” — enough to cover approximately 100 square feet.
Removing Old Shingles
Your existing roof may have one, two or even three layers of shingles on it. If the roof is in good condition, it may be possible to install a new layer of shingles over a single existing layer.
Selecting Your Roofing
Homeowners can select either three-tab shingles or architectural shingles. The two types have some things in common, and they are both highly fire-resistant.
Three-tab shingles — Today’s composite shingles feature a thin layer of tough fiberglass sandwiched between two layers of asphalt. These shingles are topped off with small stones that offer UV protection and impact-resistance (such as from hail). Three-tab shingles are the most affordable option.
Architectural shingles — Also called dimensional or laminate shingles, architectural shingles weigh about 50 percent more than traditional three-tab varieties. There is also an aesthetic consideration — these thicker, more textured shingles offer impressive curb appeal and they hide roof lines better. Major brands include GAF, Owens Corning, CertainTeed and IKO. Keep in consideration that most if not all of shingle manufacturers offer a line of designer shingles.
Because most of the big companies offer high-quality products with generous warranties, such as “lifetime” warranties, it is the selection of the right contractor that is of utmost importance. Although architectural shingles cost about 20 to 30 percent more than the three-tab variety, the long-term cost is often less because of the added durability, higher wind-resistance ratings and longer warranties.
Cool roofs — As the U.S. Department of Energy notes, highly reflective roofs offer three key advantages. Cool roofs:
- Cut energy bills by reducing the need for cooling the home.
- Enhance the comfort of spaces that are not cooled, such as garages and covered patios.
- Reduce roof temperatures by as much as 50 degrees, potentially extending the life of the roof.
Unless a roof requires significant repairs, new layers of felt and shingles can often be installed in just one or two days. New flashing and caulking ensure a watertight seal around chimneys, skylights and vent pipes. To maintain a clean worksite, contractors often have a container for debris delivered just before the roofing crew arrives. The container is then removed at the conclusion of the job.
Contact Us for Further Assistance
Complete Roof Systems has been building long-term relationships with northern New Jersey homeowners for more than 45 years. When you need residential roofing services in Bergen County, Passaic County or Essex County, call on CRS for assistance. We are certified to install the most modern roofing products produced by major manufacturers.
Contact us today to schedule a visit by one of our certified roof inspectors. We’ll answer your questions, go over your options and provide you with a free estimate.