The Basics of the Roof Replacement Process

Over the life of a house, roof work is bound to be necessary. In most cases, this will call for throwing a new layer of shingles, tiles, or rubber on the roof and being satisfied. Eventually, that solution will no longer be effective. When it comes time to take more drastic action, roof replacement may end up being the way to go.

What does that entail? And how do you know when it will be the right option? Here are some pointers to help you tackle the situation.

How Is a Replacement Different from Other Roofing Work?

The majority of roofing projects are about either layering on new materials or performing repairs. You throw on new materials, patch a hole, and maybe clean up the boundaries where the flashing is.

With a replacement project, you're going to tear the roof down to the decking at a minimum. Depending on the condition of the deck and the support structures, you may even have to do new woodwork. Felt that provides a layer between the deck and the shingles will be replaced for sure, and obviously, fresh outer materials will be added.

Why Does a Roof Have to be Replaced?

In most cases, two factors lead to the replacement of a roof. The first is the simple weight that accumulates from piling materials on top of materials. Especially in northern states where lots of snow falls, it can be a dicey proposition to keep adding hundreds of pounds of shingles every time you re-roof.

The second factor is that structures will eventually become compromised. For example, you might see a sag in the roof. Pulling up the materials, felt, and decking will allow a contractor to provide assurances that the roof will hold up for many years to come.

Some styles of roofs call for a replacement sooner than others. Shingled roofs can usually be re-layered about two times. Many types of asphalt and rubber roofs can be coated with seals a few times as well. Conversely, metal and tile roofs often have to be torn up and redone after a couple of decades.

Dealing with Costs

Roof replacement work can greatly vary in price. National averages range from $260 to $700 per square foot per job. There are many cost factors, including the slope of the roof, the overall area, and how complicated the peaks and valleys of the roof are to get into.