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Roof installation is one of those seemingly simple projects that could become extremely complicated. There are things a homeowner needs to consider to ensure that the installation is as successful as intended.

Be choosy in the roofing material and color. A roof can last decades so it pays to be willing to buy materials that are as durable and effective as possible. The single most important criterion when choosing the material of roofing is the climate where the building is located. In hot arid climates, clay tile roofs last forever. They are extremely resistant to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and have little water or ice to deal with. In colder climes, standard roofing shingles made of asphalt or fiberglass could be more durable. Like material, climate should be the main factor when choosing the color of roofing material. A building in a desert climate could benefit from a very light colored roof by reflecting as much sunlight as possible, resulting in lowered cooling costs. Extremely cold areas, on the other hand, are places where any available heat can lower heating costs so a very dark roof might be a more attractive option.

Be ready to replace the entire roof, not just the actual roof covering material. Inspecting the roof platform itself is often impossible without first removing the shingles or other roof covering. Once the covering is removed, it makes no sense to put new covering on a damaged base roof as this will cause the new covering to deteriorate more quickly. When planning a new roof installation, allocate a budget toward replacement of some or all of the existing roof structure. Depending on the extent of existing damage, it may cost less to have the roof replaced than to spot repair many damaged portions.

Use an experienced roofer. Construction is one of those trades where things very seldom go according to plan. As conditions differ from job to job, experience allows a roofer to foresee and prevent some problems and quickly adjust to others. While an inexperienced roofer may be as efficient as a veteran roofer in a theoretical world where no problems arise, there is no comparison when dealing with situations that one has encountered before and the other has not.

A roof installation is a major project representing a great deal of money and a product that should last for decades. By doing a little homework and being aware of what extra costs could be involved, a homeowner can ensure that the investment delivers the return that it should.

When a roof starts to leak, the price tag of having it re-roofed can be quite intimidating. To ensure that money isn’t being thrown away by either unnecessary re-roofing or failing to re-roof when it is needed, there should be some understanding of the purpose of a roof and how to judge when it is time to re-roof.

What is the Purpose of a Roof?

To put it in the simplest terms possible, a roof acts as an umbrella for a building. Construction materials used for private homes virtually always contain a high percentage of wood. Even treated wood is a porous material that can absorb water. While treated wood will rot more slowly, that absorbed water will still cause it to degrade by swelling, this effect is even worse in cold weather when ice crystals form. Another weakness wood has where water is concerned is that it wicks water quite well through capillary action. In other words, even a localized leak can result in water damage over a wide area as the water spreads.

The umbrella effect is only helpful in the event that the roof remains entirely intact because of that wicking effect wood can demonstrate when exposed to moisture.

When does a Home Need Re-roofing?

The first thing to keep in mind is that a leak does not necessarily mean it is time for a new roof. There are many hazards that can destroy the integrity of a small part of a roof, leaving the remainder in good repair. As an example, animals like squirrels are notorious for damaging asphalt shingles. Tile can be cracked by a neighbor kid throwing rocks. If a leak can be isolated to one damaged area, it may be more cost effective to have the area patched instead of recovering the entire roof.

Generally speaking, the surest way to know that it is time to re-roof is visible damage to the roof in several areas. This indicates that the roof sheathing has simply reached its wear and tear limit, as opposed to having damage from some isolated incident.

What if I’m not Sure?

Like an ill person who does not know how serious the situation is, the only way to gain peace of mind is to consult a professional for re-roofing services. A quality roofer can quickly determine whether the roof needs replacement for a token fee. The damage saved by replacing a worn roof in a timely manner can far exceed the cost of the project, so the best bet is to bring in a professional if there is any doubt at all.