Here are five components you must consider before renovating your roof.
How structurally sound is your home? Not just your roof, but your home? If there will be workmen climbing on top of your house to give you a whole new roof, you’d better be certain that everything is structurally sound and secure.
Check the major structure and support beams in your home for signs of warping, rotting, or other damage that could compromise the structural integrity. If you find anything amiss, get that taken care of immediately; your new-and-improved roof can wait if the structure of your home underneath it is less-than-stable.
Also, be sure that any new and grand plans you have for your roof do not touch, interfere with, or (heaven help you) cut into the existing support beams. Whoever built your house put them there for a reason.
Have you had any pests in your attic, or are there places where pests could get in? Do you suspect there may be unwanted guests nesting on or near the roof even now?
Take care of any pest problems before you begin work on a new roof. Pests who live here are often hostile and their fecal matter—especially that of the raccoon—is toxic to humans. That’s to speak nothing of the havoc their hidey-holes wreak on your energy costs.
If you suspect you may have a pest problem on or near the roof—any odd smells, noises, or discolorations in your ceilings or walls?—call your local pest-control company immediately to take a look and clear out any pesky invaders.
Whether you’ve been the victim of an animal invasion or not, re-roofing is an excellent time to think about your insulation. Heat rises, and if heat is escaping your home (and the associated money escaping your wallet), your insulation could be to blame. If your exposed insulation crumbles at the touch of your gloved hand (imperative, as most insulation materials are highly irritating to human skin) or your home is 10+ years old, it’s probably time to update the insulation.
Two of the most popular options are fiberglass and spray foam. Fiberglass is advantageous in that it may be installed by the homeowner, but any homeowners who hope to do so need to be sure to buy insulation of the appropriate R-value for their home and cover themselves well with thick clothing during the insulation. While spray foam insulation must be installed, it has been shown to insulate up to 50% better than other materials, and reduces mold- and mildew-causing moisture in a home’s wood frame.
If you’re at least thinking about renovating your roof (and if you’re reading this article you probably are), one of the obvious changes you likely plan to make is a change in shingles. If you live in the United States, you probably have asphalt shingles, which last for 20-50 years (or until they wear down and the nail heads are exposed).
However, these aren’t the only option. Metal roofs, once thought of as a barnyard eyesore, come in a variety of colors and finishes (copper is especially popular) and are virtually impervious to assaults from hail and debris. Slate roofing lasts between 80 and 400 years, which makes it worth the investment to hire a company that installs slate roofing. Calgary homes, Boston homes, and Santa Barbara homes all need shingles that will last through different weather.
A.k.a. the fun part. Does the style and color of shingle you’ve got your eye on work with the exterior design and overall theme of your home?
Obviously you know a southwestern ranch or Mediterranean-style home is best suited to a shingle in the style of a terra-cotta-tile, but have you picked one out that is the right shade of terra-cotta for the stucco on your home or of the right material for your local climate (so it won’t get unsightly cracks in it later)?
Would your home be better served by slate-colored tile? Consider these components of a great roof and your new one should be exactly what you need!