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In this episode we tell you when its time for a new roof, where to start, and walk you through the roof installation process. Just as you might head to a showroom to get ideas for your kitchen or bathroom remodel these homeowners headed to a roofing design center to find out what was available in the world of roofing and to purchase their new roof.

While roofing design centers are few and far between, this one gave the homeowners the opportunity to see different types and colors of roofing material on their home using a digital image of their home and computer software. The best part is that the design center did all the work, from taking the digital image to using the software to visualize the new roof to tearing off the old roof and putting on a new one.

After removing the old roofing material and felt, the roof decking was cleaned and inspected for damaged. Large sections of decking were removed and replaced as needed before roofing began with asphalt shingles.

We also had a chance to check out various other roofing materials, both in the showroom and out on the job. Alternative materials available today offer a variety of looks to compliment different architectural styles, but one of the most attractive things about them is their durability. One recycled rubber and plastic roofing material mimicked the look of slate and came with a 50-year warranty.

Metal is another popular roofing option, especially in areas prone to high winds. One such roofing material by Decra looked like a traditional shingled roof, but is actually a system of interlocking metal panels with a stone chip coating to protect the surface.

If you don’t have a roofing design center in your neck of the woods, finding a roofer by word of mouth may be your best bet. For your protection look for a roofer who has both general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.

You’ll also want to ask if they have any certifications from the manufacturer of the products they install. This is a good sign that the work will be done right. Finally, ask for references from their past customers and look at the work they’ve done.

I know many of you are wondering where you can find a roof design center. I hope more of these will begin popping up nationwide, but it’s fairly new in the wide scope of retail shops. The good news is they are continuing to grow in popularity as more people are finding out how convenient they are. Right now there are eight locations scattered in Florida (Daytona, Tampa, Orlando, Hudson, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Clearwater, Ft. Myers), and one in Mobile, Alabama.

When it comes to roofing, one of the most common questions I have been asked is if it’s advisable to install roofing over an existing roof. Certainly, this has been a common practice since about 1970, but usually only to asphalt shingle roofs or rolled roofing. But the fact that it CAN be done has nothing to do with whether or not it SHOULD be done. My experience has proved that the only benefit is saving money in the up front cost. You won’t have to pay for the old shingles to be removed or disposed of, but that’s the one and only benefit.

Personally, I think the practice of roofing over an existing roof should be banned. There are far too many problems that can result and they greatly outweigh the cost of removal and disposal of existing shingles. For example, if the existing shingles are cupped or curled, the new shingles are going to be influenced by the shape of the roof beneath them. Your new shingle roof will look very rough.

Even though longer nails are used for a re-roof job, the old shingles have a tendency to expand and contract with changing weather and can easily cause a nail pop to occur. This means the nail will literally be pushed up through the new shingle, which is a guaranteed roof leak. Take some friendly advice, and always have the existing roof removed before ever installing a new layer of shingles.

A final word of advice on cleaning your roof. You can drive down practically any street in the United States and spot a roof that has ugly black stains and streaks all over it. Black staining is caused by the growth of algae and fungus spores that land on your roof. These spores need three things to grow: heat, moisture, and nutrient. The nutrient comes from dirt and the shingle itself, primarily the limestone filler used in manufacturing the granules.

Typically, the politically correct advice is to have a professional roof cleaner take care of it. I will follow the same political correctness by making that recommendation. But now that the web censors are gone, I would tackle this job myself and save a lot of money. The important thing to remember is safety first. Any time you’re on a roof, there’s the risk of falling. A good boot, like Cougar Paws, is a smart thing to wear to avoid slipping.

The cleaning process is fairly simple. You can purchase a roof cleaner at a home center. But be careful since many cleaners contain harmful chemicals. Never, ever use lye or a chlorine bleach product, even if a roofer said it was okay. He’s not very informed if he tells you that.

Aside from being harmful to the plants and your gutters, chlorine bleach will erode your shingles, stripping them of years of service. Do some research on the internet for an environmentally friendly product. Check out the ingredients and ask for references.

Other Tips From This Episode

Color Coding Chargers

Many of us have multiple chargers for cell phones, tools, and children’s electronic games around our homes, so it’s easy to get them mixed up. Take the confusion out of matching the charger to the electronic device by marking them with strips of colored masking or electrical tape. Simply put a strip of the same color tape on both the device and the charger, and you’ll never have to search by trial and error for your charger again.

Crescent RapidSlide Wrench

Whether you’re working on a plumbing project, making bike repairs, or assembling a grill; at some point you’ll need an adjustable wrench. A manual wrench might be just fine, but it typically leaves little room for your hand to adjust the wrench in tight spaces, like behind sink pipes. The RapidSlide Wrench from Crescent has a slide control in the handle that eliminates the guesswork. With the flick of a thumb you get the job done quickly and easily. Just slide forward to close or tighten and slide back to open or loosen the jaws. We found it available for around $14.

Lawn Aeration

Areas of your lawn that have heavy foot traffic will cause the grass in those areas to suffer. If the informal paths in your yard are suffering from “brown-out,” you may be able to restore them with a simple hand-aerating technique. Simply thrust the tines of a garden fork 4″ to 5″ into the soil, and then move the fork back and forth like a pump or jack handle. This will allow air and water to penetrate below the packed surface layer without uprooting your lawn. Repeat this procedure at 6″ intervals throughout the affected area. (Watch Video)

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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