As you begin considering getting a new roof, you are bubbling over with questions. Well, we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at the process, best industry practices, and longevity of a typical residential roof.
What is the Residential Roofing Process?
The residential roofing process begins with you, the homeowner. No reputable roofer goes door to door offering to reroof houses. You contact at least three roofers to get bids on a new roof for your Kansas City-area home. You choose the best bid (not necessarily the lowest price) and sign a contract with your preferred roofer.
Your contracted roofer orders the materials needed for your particular installation, guided by your material selection, color choice, price line, and accessory choices (gable vents, water and ice shield, gutters, and similar add-ons).
Some contractors specialize in particular types of roofing, but almost all roofers install reliable, economical fiberglass-asphalt shingles.
Other choices can include metal, flat roofing (typically for residential porches and additions), tile, and composite (plastic) roofing.
You and your roofer agree on an installation schedule convenient to you. On the day of the installation, you probably want to keep children and pets safely inside.
Most roofing projects take one to two days, though individual factors can affect the speed of tear-off and the new roof’s installation.
Your experienced, local roofer safely removes the old roof and installs the new roof in five steps:
- Install replacement sheathing and fascia as needed
- Refasten sheathing with 8-penny ring shank nails for maximum holding power
- Install rubber leak barrier
- Install new rubber boots, drip edge, vents, valley flashing, and new lead boots around sanitary stacks
- Install starter strip shingles, then install field shingles, and finish with ridge vent shingles
Once completed, your roofer carefully inspects the finished work and tidies up your yard, landscaping, and the new roof.
Cleaning as they go, most roofers will have only minimal cleanup to do at the end, but good roofers will run a magnetic broom across your yard to pick up magnetic bits of metal (nails, flashing cutoffs).
What are Residential Roofing Best Practices?
Most homeowners barely notice their roofs once they are installed. We understand, but the industry is always evolving and improving. We incorporate current best practices into every job, improving our installation work and follow up maintenance.
Homeowners, too, can follow best practices with their homes’ roofs. Consider these steps to get the longest life and best value from your beautiful new roof:
- Keep comprehensive records about your roof, including the date it was installed, the company performing the installation, the materials used, and any warranty attached to the new roof
- Record routine maintenance, which should be done twice a year; arrange inspection and maintenance with the same roofing company who installed the roof
- Always have your roof checked after major storms
- From the ground or from an extension ladder (never climb on any roof for safety reasons), check for missing or broken shingles, granules in the gutters, mold, moss or algae growing on the roof, and debris (including stray sports equipment!)
- Inside your home, look for signs of moisture (leaks, wet walls, discoloration or mold on ceilings or high on your walls)
Be sure to ask your roofer to check any previous repair work to make certain the repairs are holding up as well as the rest of the roof.
How Long Does the Average Roof Last?
The sturdy, economical, easily installed fiberglass-asphalt shingle is a marvel of modern technology and time-honored practices. A good shingle roof, properly installed, averages at least 20 years of service before issues start to crop up. This average lifespan can be easily extended through regular maintenance and prompt repairs.
Many factors affect the life of your home’s shingle roof. On the short end, a roof may not even last 10 years if:
- The roof gets no professional inspection, maintenance, or repair work
- Your roof is battered by severe weather, high winds, heavy rains, and harsh storms
- Your roof is treated like a playroom, with family members walking on it, tossing play equipment onto it, or attaching objects to it (signs, holiday lights, decorative figures)
To enjoy 30 or more years of service from your fiberglass-asphalt shingle roof, do your roof these courtesies:
- Have the roof inspected, cleaned, maintained and repaired twice a year
- Keep everyone off the roof
- Discourage family members from tossing objects onto the roof
- At the first sign of damage, leak, or pest invasion, have the roof attended to by your local, helpful roofer (and possibly a pest control company)
Bill West Roofing in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, is your regional roofing expert. We install residential roofs, specializing in reliable, economical shingle roofs using CertainTeed products. Contact us today to learn more about the residential roofing process and how we can help you.