Your roof is an easy part of your home to forget about — until something goes wrong, that is. And when something does go wrong, you may find it difficult to get the information you need and come up with a fix you can afford. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 of the most common roofing questions we hear from our customers.
Answers to 10 of Your Most Common Roofing Questions
Roofing doesn’t have to be a mystery. With the right information, you should be able to keep your roof in good condition, spot minor issues before they become major problems, and know when it’s time for an upgrade. To jumpstart your learning, check out our most common roofing questions and their answers below.
Roofing Question #1: How Long Will My Roof Last?
Your roof’s lifespan will depend on a few different factors — the most important being material. Generally, an asphalt roof will last between 12-20 years and a metal roof will last between 40-70 years.
However, things like climate, extreme weather, and maintenance habits can also affect your roof’s longevity. If you live in an area that regularly receives heavy rain, snowfall, or high winds, your roof might suffer a bit more wear and tear than others.
Alternatively, roofs that are regularly inspected and maintained can be expected to last a bit longer than the timelines mentioned above. By taking great care of your roof and attending to issues soon after they arise, you’re likely to protect your investment for much longer.
Roofing Question #2: Should I Repair or Replace My Roof?
It depends on the age of your roof and the extent of the damage. If your roof is near or over its estimated life expectancy, it’s likely in need of a full replacement. As your roof ages, it starts to work less effectively than it used to, making it a great candidate for a complete upgrade.
Also, if your roof has extensive damage — whether it be from weather, debris, fire, or water — it’s probably a better idea to replace the entire thing. A few chipped or missing shingles in one area can be fixed with a small repair job, but if the damage is greater than that, replace it.
Roofing Question #3: How Much Will My New Roof Cost?
This is a tough question to answer because every home, and every roof is different. Your new roof’s cost will depend on several factors, including material, size, slope, labor, and more. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to call one or more trusted roofing contractors in your area. Most reputable roofers will offer a quote at no cost and with no obligation.
For a free, no-obligation quote from Werner Roofing, click here.
Roofing Question #4: Can My Roof Be Insured?
In most cases, your roof can be insured through your homeowner’s insurance policy. This protects your roof from major unexpected damages like fires, tornadoes, and vandalism.
For minor issues, like curling or cracking shingles, most roofs come with a warranty. These warranties could cover the actual roofing materials (like shingles or metal sheets) or the labor to install those materials, or both. It’s important to remember that every roofer offers different warranties and different roofing materials come with different manufacturer warranties. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take a few bids from multiple roofers and materials to see what warranties they’re offering and which is best for you.
Roofing Question #5: How Long Will It Take to Install My New Roof?
A new roof can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to install. The exact amount of time it will take depends on three main factors: the size of your roof, what type of roof you’re installing, and whether or not you have to remove existing roof materials before installing new ones. For example, if you’re installing new asphalt shingles on top of old ones, you can expect the job to be completed fairly quickly. But if you need to remove old metal roofing and then place new asphalt shingles, it’s going to take a bit longer.
Timing can also depend on the size of your roofer’s crew and the weather. Roofing can be dangerous work and roofers need to ensure their workers are safe up on the roof. Therefore, any inclement weather could put your roof installation on hold until it passes.
For a more accurate answer on how long it will take to install your new roof, be sure to get an estimate from one or more trusted roofing contractors in your area. Most of them will provide a comprehensive timeline, and some of their contracts will even include a penalty in the event that it’s not completed on deadline.
Roofing Question #6: Can I Install a New Roof In Winter?
If your roof has suffered a major catastrophe (say a tree fell on your home or you discovered a great deal of water damage), you might need a new roof as soon as possible. Many homeowners are afraid that roofers won’t work in winter because of the weather, but that’s not true.
While it’s more difficult to install roofs in the winter, most roofers can make it happen as long as they’re extra careful. The process may take a bit more time since roofers have to practice great caution, store materials appropriately, and wait for clear days, but it’s possible. If you need a roof right now, don’t worry that the weather will put your family out.
Roofing Question #7: What Are the Most Common Roofing Materials?
There are many different types of roofing materials, all with different aesthetic appeals and performance capabilities. However, the most common of them include:
- Asphalt shingles
- Standing seam metal panels
- Wood shakes
- Slate or clay tiles
So which of these materials is right for your roof? That’s up to you! You can ask a reputable roofing contractor to walk you through the pros and cons of each of them, then make your decision based on that information.
Roofing Question #8: What Is Roof Flashing, and Does My Roof Need It?
Roof flashing is a flat, thin, waterproof material (usually steel) that’s placed underneath shingles. It’s used to direct water away from the most vulnerable areas of your roof, preventing any water from entering cracks and openings on it.
Your entire roof probably won’t require flashing, but some sections of it will. These are usually the most leak-prone areas, such as:
- Any roof surface that connects to a front or side wall
- Valleys (low points where two roof slopes connect)
- Around protrusions like bathroom vents, chimneys, and/or skylights
- Edges (eaves or rakes)
By installing flashing in these areas, you’re giving your home a great second line of protection against devastating water damage.
Roofing Question #9: Does My Roof Need Gutters?
The short answer? Probably, but not always.
Gutters are designed to direct rain away from your home. They catch water as it runs down the slope of your roof, then direct it into a downspout or drain that carries it away. This all works to prevent your home’s foundation from eroding, the basement from flooding, and the siding from growing mold and mildew. With all of that in mind, gutters are a pretty important part of a roofing system.
However, there are some instances where you may not need gutters installed. This is usually if your roof has a very steep slope and/or you live in a dry environment.
Roofing Question #10: What Do I Do If My Roof Is Damaged by a Storm?
If your roof has been damaged by a storm, follow these steps to ensure everybody is safe, minimize any additional damage, and get coverage from your insurance or warranty provider.
- Help anyone who’s injured.
- Identify and resolve any safety hazards (downed power lines, fallen trees, damaged gas lines, etc.)
- Take photos and videos of the damage
- Get a reputable roofing contractor in your area to help with identifying and listing the damage
- File an insurance claim
- Wear protective gear while you clean up
- Talk to a roofing contractor for repair or replacement options
Have More Questions About Your Roof? Contact Our Experts
If you have a roofing question that wasn’t answered in this article, feel free to reach out to our team at Werner Roofing. We’re here to help you achieve peace of mind about your roof, and we’ll happily give you a free estimate for a repair or replacement — no obligation required. Call our office at (616) 844-5382 or contact us online today.
OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION
How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.”