If you just closed on a home, but the inspection revealed it needed a new roof, it’s best to arrange for one sooner rather than later. A roof replacement will boost the home’s efficiency and protect the property from the elements, resulting in long-term savings. If you have questions about the process, review this brief guide to clear them up.

A Guide to Residential Roof Replacements

Can you repair affected areas instead of replacing the entire roof?

A skilled contractor can repair minor damage, like missing shingles or isolated cracks. However, if these issues are left unchecked, they may cause more extensive damage and require a total replacement. 

Generally speaking, roofs should be replaced once their structural integrity has been compromised or they’ve aged past the point that repairs are still cost-effective. Consider a full replacement if the structure is 15 years or older. 

Can you install a new roof directly on top of the old one?

If the roof’s underlying support structure is still in good shape, it may be possible to place the new shingles directly over the old ones. Since this requires less labor and demands fewer materials, it’s considerably more affordable than tearing off the entire roofing system and starting from scratch. 

However, you can only take this approach once because the weight adds up. If the prior owner already covered an existing roof, you’ll have to tear off both layers and replace them with a new system. 

Can I use different materials for the new roof?

In most cases, it’s possible to change materials when replacing a roofing system. Since all the most popular residential options have unique advantages, research them carefully before choosing one. 

For example, metal roofs are incredibly durable and can last the longest. Asphalt shingles are fairly affordable and available in a range of colors. Finally, tile shingles are timeless and offer a more traditional appearance. Your roofing contractor will be happy to help you choose the best option based on your budget and overall design scheme. 

How do I prepare my property for a roof replacement?

To help your roofers get the job done right, trim back any overhanging tree branches before they arrive so they can work unobstructed. You should also clear the driveway or ask your neighbors not to park in front of your home if you only have street parking. Finally, remove any fragile hangings since the walls may vibrate while the contractors work.