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4 Most Common Roofing Questions

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While every homeowner’s situation is unique, there are certain questions that roofing professionals hear over and over again. Here are some of the most common:

1. Does My Roof Need to Be Repaired or Replaced?

The answer to this question often determines the difference between a quick fix and a long, far more expensive process. There are many factors that go into determining this, including how close your roof is to the end of its expected lifespan, any severe storm damage, and the condition of the shingles or tiles. A roofing professional is the best person to assess whether a repair will do the job or a replacement is necessary.

2. What Type of Roofing Materials Should I Choose?

Common materials used for roofing include asphalt shingles, metal, wood, tile, and slate. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s a good idea to discuss your situation with a roofing consultant before you make your final choice. Here’s a quick look at each type:

  • Asphalt shingles: 70% of homes in the US are roofed with asphalt shingles, because they are very affordable and offer good protection from the elements. They aren’t as durable as some other types of material, but they often last as much as 20 or 30 years before needing to be replaced.
  • Metal: More durable than asphalt and more resistant to wind, but also more expensive.
  • Tile: Lasts a very long time and is extremely resistant to fire. On the negative side, tile is expensive and brittle, and it’s so heavy that the roof framing will require extra reinforcement.
  • Slate: Extremely durable (can last a hundred years or more), but like tile, requires roof framing reinforcement because of its weight. Slate tends to be very expensive and requires specially trained roofers to install it.
  • Wood: Moderately expensive and needs to be maintained properly to keep it in good condition. Although it has a low level of fire resistance, the wood can be treated with a fire retardant to improve this.

3. How Much Does Roof Replacement Cost?

Although this varies depending on the size and scope of the project, a good estimate is $2,000 to $10,000 for an average residential home. Higher-end materials and a larger home will increase the price.

A legitimate roofing professional will always give you an estimate before the work begins so you know exactly what is included (materials, labor, and disposal). You will probably be asked to pay part of the cost up front so materials can be purchased before the job begins.

4. How Long Does It Take to Replace a Roof?

Again, this depends largely on the type of materials and the size of the job. For a typical residential project, expect it to take a few days. A very large, complex home or a commercial project can take much longer, from a few weeks up to a few months. When your roofing contractor gives you the estimate of the cost, they should also estimate how long the job will take.

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