The last thing any homeowner needs is the stress of unforeseen home repairs. With extreme weather events increasing in many regions, roof issues are an unwelcome burden. As you begin prioritizing your spring home improvement projects, you’ll want to plan for any roofing needs.
The experts at the Metal Roofing Alliance recommend starting by asking installers the right questions well before starting a roof replacement.
“Replacing a roof is a major expense and impacts how your home looks and performs,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director. “With so many variables, it can cause stress, making you feel uneasy about choosing correctly.”
“But it doesn’t have to be worrisome: Asking good questions leads to confident, hassle-free decisions.” According to MRA, the first step is finding a reputable, qualified professional to evaluate your roof and determine if a replacement is necessary. If it is, they can tell you exactly when to replace your roof.
From there, key questions before investing in a new roof include:
1. Which Options Will Protect Your Home?
To get the best roof, prepare for the worst weather. Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, snow, hail, ice, heavy rain, and wind can all wreak havoc on your home. Consider your region’s risks before replacing, and make sure your new roof can withstand them.
Knowing your roof offers maximum protection, not just hoping it will, provides security. Consider accessories like snow guards, heavy-duty gutters, and underlayment that provide extra protection to avoid additional expenses later.
2. What are the Maintenance Needs?
No matter the type of shingles on your home, roofs look great when new. However, some, like asphalt, shake, and clay, are prone to issues like moss, algae, and fungus in wet, humid areas. These issues can shorten your roof’s life and cause serious damage if left unchecked. Even when repaired, professional treatments can be costly and environmentally harmful.
Ask about low-maintenance options like metal roofing that often just need water and gentle soap to look great. Metal roofs require minimal maintenance compared to other materials, a perk for avoiding recurring hassles and costs.
3. How Can You Verify a Roof’s Performance?
Material and labor warranties are very important. Look for coverage of at least 50 years for materials and 20 to 30 years for labor. Beyond warranties, make sure independent organizations rate your roof for fire, hail resistance, and energy efficiency.
Roofs rated Class A fire resistance and ENERGY STAR “Cool Roof” are recommended for wildfire protection and efficiency in both hot and cold weather. Check independent ratings to validate marketing claims and show how long a roof lasts.
Ask your installer about proper insulation and underlayment that meets regional codes for ongoing utility savings and protection. Don’t assume your roofer is automatically using best practices. Proper installation maximizes your roof’s rated performance.
4. Which Roofing Choices Are Structurally Sound?
Many strong options exist, including slate and clay, but their weight may require reinforcing the roof structure at an added cost. Snow and ice significantly increase weight, so if you want that look, consider metal roofing that mimics slate or clay.
Metal offers superior strength under extreme conditions yet is lighter, avoiding extra structural reinforcements. It provides the aesthetic without the structural considerations.
5. What is the Manufacturer’s Reputation?
For lasting roofs with reliable performance, quality matters. The cheapest bid may not be the best value. Research the proposed material, its sourcing, manufacturer reputation, and warranty details before signing off on your new roof. Also, be sure to look at customer reviews. A proven track record and strong warranty indicate roof quality and longevity.
Make sure your installer uses quality techniques and materials, like advanced coatings, that improve durability and performance.
6. How Can You Choose the Right Style?
Ideally, a new roof lasts years, so style matters. However, consider your climate and never prioritize design over performance. Even if you love wood shake aesthetically, avoid it in regions prone to wildfires. Opt for metal that mimics wood instead.
You can try colors and designs virtually before deciding. Use online tools like the MRA Visualizer to preview how a roof will look on your home. Tools like this can help you look at your options before purchasing.
7. Which Roofing Choices Are Sustainable?
Consider a roof’s lifecycle from tear-off to manufacturing to longevity. Some materials, like metal, are installed over old asphalt, avoiding landfill waste. Metal roofing recycles 100% at the end of its life and lasts up to three times longer than other types of roofing. These sustainability benefits make metal an eco-friendly choice.
So, Is Metal Roofing the Best Choice?
Based on the criteria here, metal is an excellent option for most homeowners needing a new roof. It provides durability, easy maintenance, sustainability, and design flexibility. While initial costs exceed asphalt roofs, metal offers enhanced protection, longevity, and efficiency. In severe weather regions, metal can provide unparalleled peace of mind. Consult a qualified professional to determine if metal is a good fit for your home.
FAQs About Roof Replacement
What are signs I need a new roof?
It might be time for a new roof if your roof is over 20 years old. Signs include visible damage like missing shingles, leaks, and high energy bills. If you’re not sure whether you need a replacement, have a professional inspect your roof annually.
How much does a new roof cost?
Average costs for a new roof range from $8,500 to $14,300 but vary based on size, material, location, and more. Get multiple quotes before deciding to hire a roofer.
Should I DIY or hire a roofer?
For proper installation and safety, hire a licensed, insured professional. Roofing is complex and hazardous. Professionals have the equipment and experience to safely and effectively replace your roof.
How long do roofs typically last?
Asphalt shingles last 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance, while metal lasts 30 to 50+ years. Location and weather impact longevity.
When is the best time to replace my roof?
Schedule in your area’s off-season for the best pricing when demand is lower.
About Metal Roofing Alliance
Representing the residential metal roofing industry in the United States and Canada, the Metal Roofing Alliance was formed to help educate consumers about the many benefits of metal roofing.
The main objective of MRA is to increase awareness of the beauty, durability, and money-saving advantages of quality metal roofing among homeowners and to provide support to the residential metal roofing industry.