What You Need To Know When It's Time To Reroof Your House

You have taken the bold step of getting your house reroofed. It took a lot of planning, financing, and worry, but you have made it here. What will a reroofing project look like? How should you prepare, both inside and outside your home?

Why Did You Decide on a New Roof?

The reason for your reroofing adventure influences the kind of project you can expect. If your roof has sustained recent damage but is relatively young, the reroofing work may go very quickly. Your friendly, professional roofer is unlikely to uncover any surprises. Typical damage scenarios are:

  • Storm damage — A passing storm may have torn away shingles, flashing, or drip edge. If substantial areas have been damaged, a complete reroof may make more sense than spot repair.
  • Impact damage — A falling tree or just a big limb can break not only the roofing components but your roof deck itself. The rafters and joists supporting your roof may need replacing. Matching the roof color may not be possible, so your entire roof will be replaced.
  • Wind uplift — A strong storm can kick up winds which drop pressure above your roof. This leads to uplift that destroys the water resistance of your roof. Your roofing professional will take the roof down to the sheathing and provide new underlayment to ensure water resistance

In nearly all cases of roof damage, your contractor will not be surprised by unknown rot, hidden water damage, or some other snag. That is not the case with replacing an aged roof. Here, the challenge is the ol’ “tip of the iceberg” problem: uncovering the old, failing roofing material may reveal substantial flaws beneath.

What could be wrong? Many things:

  • Torn underlayment
  • Warped, rotten or damaged sheathing
  • Broken rafters
  • Water infiltration down to the attic insulation
  • Blocked soffit vents

With an aging roof, just about every component — from ridge vents to flashing to gutters — will need a thorough inspection and (possibly) replacement.

Preparing Your Home

Your local roofing contractor will attempt to schedule the installation of a replacement roof around your schedule. Sometimes this is not completely possible. Weather, unexpected delays at other job sites, or final financing arrangements may compel you and your roofer to shift the schedule.

Getting your home ready for the roofers ahead of time will make the whole process easier on everyone. Consider first the outside of your home.

  • Remove patio and lawn furniture to a safe distance to protect from falling roofing materials
  • Mow the grass short to make nail pickup fast and sure
  • On the day of the reroofing, protect landscaping with canvas dropcloths

Prepare family members for the expected noises coming from above them. They will hear pounding, air compressors, scraping, and a lot of footsteps. Consider laying down a dropcloth for workers if they need to reach your attic through an interior hatchway. The use of your bathroom by the crew is also greatly appreciated. A dropcloth leading to it keeps your floors cleaner.

What to Expect During Reroofing

Removing the old roof is fast work. The old roofing materials will usually be tossed off the roof for a crew member to pick up and deposit in a dumpster to be hauled away. This includes underlayment, water and ice shield, corroded flashing, bent drip edge, and the shingles themselves.

The new roof involves rolls of underlayment (and water and ice shield) hauled up. Those are followed by bundles of shingles. Either machine or a ladder hoist will be sued. Depending on the slope (steepness) of your roof, you may see roof jacks and plenty of safety gear in use.

The reroofing process moves very quickly with a well-trained crew. Your home will be completely protected from the weather no matter how far along the crew gets each day.

What to Expect With Your New Roof

A reroofed house essentially has a brand new roof. You can expect to see new ridge vents, new shingles, new drip edge, new flashing, and new boots around sanitary stacks and other rooftop protrusions.

The crew will remove all traces of work, from old roofing to the plastic film on the self-adhesive strip for each shingle. A thorough ground cleanup usually is the last step to make certain no nails, metal, or other debris remains.

If you would like, join your roofer for the final inspection, even if you have to climb a ladder to the gutter to do it. Never pay for a roof without a final inspection.

For complete information about every aspect of reroofing for your Twin Cities home, please contact us at Midwest Exteriors Plus, Inc. We would be happy to explain the entire roofing process, inspect your roof to see if age or damage requires a new roof, and outline the choices you have in new roofing materials.