Home Inspectors Discuss Need For A New Roof

It's coming up on Fall, and if you need a new roof on your home, now is the time to have one installed.  Before you start, there are a few things you should know.  You need to make sure and take the entire roofing system into account and not just think about the shingles.  The best shingles out there cannot protect your home if any one of the other components of the roofing system is not working or performing properly. What is  "Roofing System" and how do I choose the correct one for my home?

The first thing you need to know are the signs that a roof will need to be replaced. Just like I do when performing a home inspection, you will need conduct a visual inspection of the roof and it's components.  Do this either by walking the roof, viewing from a ladder or from the ground using binoculars of the roof is steep.  If you are not comfortable with this process, check out the Rochester and Southeastern MN yellow pages for a reputable roofing contractor.

Some signs that you may need a roof replacement include algae or moss growth on the shingles, damaged flashing around the chimney or other roof openings and vents, curling, buckling, blistering, missing shingles and or tabs, and or rotten wood on the underside of the roof as seen from the attic. 

The next step is to make sure you understand what a roofing system is so you will know what questions to ask after you have chosen a contractor.  It's pretty easy if you think of your roof as serving three important functions.  Does it protect your home from the elements?  Is there adequate ventilation?  Does it add to the beauty of your home?

  • Underlayment provides your roof protection against water seepage between the roof deck and the shingles.

  • Ice and water barriers help to protect your roof's eves and valleys from Ice, Snow, and driving rains.

  • Shingles provide beauty and protect your home from the elements. 

  • Hip and ridge shingles add extra protection to the ridge line of your home. 

  • Gutter systems will work better if they have protection or a system in place that will prevent leaf and debris build up and clogs

  • Adequate ventilations will allow your attic to breath, reducing heat and moisture build up and preventing mold growth.

  • Your home's insulation keeps the heat in and the cold out, helping to reduce energy consumption and maintain comfort.

  • It is best if you can choose one manufacturer for all components of your roofing system.  Manufacturers design their systems for maximum performance. 

Keep in mind that choosing the right contractor is just as important as choosing the right roofing products. Use references from friends and co-workers, or your local building materials center.  Be sure to check out contractors' license status before you start asking for bids.  Also remember that the lowest bid isn't always the best deal.  You need to make sure everything you need is covered and that you are comparing apples to apples before you make a decision.