Should I repair or replace my roof?

close-up of damaged shingles

Keeping Your Roof in Shape

If you live in Texas, then your home has been subjected to a hailstorm or two, or maybe three or four. In any case, it may be time to have a professional roof inspection and see if a new roof installation is in your future. 

When is roof replacement necessary?

Maybe your roof isn’t leaking right now, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it inspected. With a professional inspection, if a roof installation isn’t needed right now, they can let you know if you have a possible problem coming your way. Here are three ways to know when a new roof installation is needed:  

  1. A roof over 20 years old is getting close to its end-of-life for a basic three-tab asphalt shingle roof. You definitely don’t need to go past 25 years and any experienced roofing contractor will tell you that if your roof has reached 80% to 85% of that 25 year warranty without being replaced or needing repairs, you’re lucky you haven’t needed a new roof installation already in this part of the country. 
  1. When an asphalt roof is starting to have loose or missing shingles, bald spot where the asphalt has come off, or the algae, lichen, and moss won’t come off, it is time to look at a new roof installation. This may be age and it could be from improper attic ventilation. When an attic isn’t properly ventilated, the heat and moisture get trapped and that shortens the lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof. 
  1. Roofing storm damage happens everywhere, but Texas and other states in tornado alley experience more than others. Anything from hailstones to high winds, strong UV rays from the sun, and just normal aging can cause a need for a new roof installation. 

What does roof replacement include?

A roof is more than the shingles or other roofing material you see from the street. There are several components involved in roof installation: 

  • Decking: Roof decking is the solid wood board that the shingles and other roofing components are installed on. 
  • Flashing: Roof flashing is the metal strips installed in places where the shingles are up against another surface, like the chimney, skylight, walls, and in the valleys, where the roof slopes meet. 
  • Underlayment: The underlayment is a felt material installed over the decking for additional protection.
  • Drip edge: The drip edge is a metal flashing installed along the roof edges that control the water flowing away from the fascia and other components.
  • Ice and water shield: These are located in the valleys and keep water flowing down the roof when it rains. 
  • Asphalt shingles: Next, the layer you see from the street is the asphalt shingles. 
  • Ridge capping: The ridge capping is installed at the roof’s peak and is a thicker material than the shingles on the roof. They come in a pre-bent form and are installed along the area where the slopes meet. 
  • Roof vents: The roof vents provide proper attic ventilation, extending the lifespan of your roof and keeping your utilities down. 
  • Pipe boots: On top of your roof are vent pipes for the plumbing. Around these are rubber boots to keep water from running down the sides and into your home. 

How does roof replacement work with insurance?

An insurance adjuster will come to your home and inspect the roof. If you have any leaks, they will need to inspect inside the home and the attic too. Many insurance adjusters today have software to help them determine the estimate they will offer in paying for a roof installation. 

This will take the measurements of the roof in square footage, any damage to the chimney, skylight or vent pipes are included as well. Following current market trends, they will input this information into their computer system and the software will provide the total estimate. 

Depending on your policy, you will be responsible for the deductible. Some have a flat rate, some have a percentage, and then there is depreciation to factor into the estimate.  You’ll be paid the amount of the estimate, which you will pay to the roofing contractor. You’ll write them two checks, one for the deductible and one for the balance of the roof. 

If the roofer needs additional materials not included in the estimate, like decking they will submit another claim to your insurance company. They will send you the check, which you will sign over to them. Once the roof installation job is complete, the roofer will send a copy of the final invoice and you will receive a check for the depreciation amount. 

How much will roof replacement cost?

Based on the size of your roof and the roofing material you choose. For example, with asphalt shingles, a 1200 square foot home can cost between $5,000 and upward of $15,000 or more for a new roof installation. 

What is the cheapest roof to install?

Asphalt shingle roof installation is the least expensive roofing, which is why it is so common and popular. They are lightweight and come in sheets, both facts that make it the easiest roof to install, saving on labor. 

What is the best replacement roof?

Again, because they are lightweight, yet durable, and are easy to install, asphalt shingle roof installation is the most recommended and considered the best. There are three levels of asphalt shingle with architectural design being the better and most recommended of the three. 

workers replacing a roof

In Closing – Save Some Money with DIY Roof Installation

Some homeowners may want to try to save some money and do their own roof installation. Will you save that much though? Just what is the labor cost to install a shingle roof?  The average labor costs today are around $2.00 per square foot for a basic asphalt or architectural asphalt roof installation. Approximately 1/3 of what you’ll pay for a new roof installation goes toward laborers that know how to install a roof. 

The next big question is when to install a roof. You obviously wouldn’t want to do the job in the rain or snow.  Roofing contractors prefer to work in the spring on non-rain days or early fall before the winter weather arrives. A roof installation is possible in the summer, but their hours in Texas may be shorter, taking a day or two longer because of the heat.